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如何写邮件,才能避免收件人“已读不回”?

如何写邮件,才能避免收件人“已读不回”?

Meena Thiruvengadam 2021年06月09日
本文将告诉你如何才能写出更好的电子邮件。

图片来源:MIRAGEC/GETTY IMAGES

艾米•切塔姆在缅因州的乡下长大,没有在投行的目标招聘院校读书,家中也没有银行业的人脉资源,更没有能够帮她进入相关行业的亮眼简历。

她所拥有的只是电子邮箱和与陌生人接触的意愿。

在发出大概150封电子邮件之后,毕业于康涅狄格学院(Connecticut College,位于康涅狄格州新伦敦市的一所小型文理学院)的切塔姆终于如愿以偿,拿到了在摩根大通(J.P. Morgan)暑期实习的机会。在此过程之中,她也学会了如何利用电子邮件有效地说服他人。

她说:“写一封内容冗长却词不达意的电子邮件十分容易。”但要想写出一封可以让你梦想成真的电子邮件则绝非易事。

“要让收件人在点开邮件的瞬间就对邮件主题以及自己应当采取何种行动了然于心。”Ariel Group负责客户解决方案的副总裁米利亚姆•杜梅恩表示。作为一家咨询公司,Ariel Group致力于帮助客户在专业环境中提升沟通效率。

但要做到这一点有时并不容易,在你需要帮助时尤其如此。

切塔姆说:“不要拐弯抹角,我们之所以联系对方就是为了获得对方的帮助,但说无妨。” 切塔姆目前供职于总部在旧金山的早期风投公司Costanoa Ventures,他也是该公司的主要投资者之一。

选好主题

要想用邮件打动别人,首先你得让对方点开你的邮件。

《数字身体语言》(Digital Body Language)一书的作者埃丽卡•达万建议道,如果想凭借某封电子邮件立即引起收件人的注意,发件人可以在邮件主题上做文章,反映出这种紧迫性。她说:“在主题栏中纳入‘主题内容’和‘时间’要素能够促使收件人优先处理相关事项。”

主题栏内容应该简洁明了。另请注意,邮箱软件可能不会显示完整主题,因此,如果事属紧急,应该尽早说明。工作应用程序Boomerang发现,由3、4个字构成的主题最容易得到回复,而切塔姆认为由6到8个字构成的主题最容易得到回复。

不过无论主题长短,都必须包含足够的细节信息,从而吸引收件人点开你的电子邮件。切塔姆还建议说,发件人如果有特定诉求,也应该在主题中表明。

三思而行

现在,大家在查看收件箱时都是一扫而过,这种情况绝非个例。

达万称:“我们现在查看电子邮件时往往是一扫而过,然后再去搜索查找自己感兴趣的内容。因此常常会漏看信息或者答非所问。”

在发送自己草草写就的电子邮件之前,不妨多读一遍,不必字斟句酌,但应当确保你想要传达的信息及具体诉求都已经在邮件中清楚写明。

切勿匆忙发送信息,生气时尤其如此,也不要迫使收件人在字里行间挖掘你想要表达的想法。达万说:“现在写电子邮件马虎不得。你需要花些时间弄明白什么情况下可以写得简单随意一些,什么情况下应该给出更周到的答复。”

在需要讨论复杂、敏感或可能引起混乱的事项时,你可以考虑用开会或打电话的方式来代替电子邮件,这样能够最大化减少往来邮件的数量。

“一通电话比得上1000封电子邮件。”她说。

与人方便,与己方便

优秀的电子邮件总会尽可能地为收件人提供方便。这类邮件直截了当、语气专业,而且可以清楚地表达自己的目的。

如果你还不认识收件人,那么你首先应该做一下自我介绍,然后强调一下你与收件人之间的共通纽带(如校友关系),从而建立更私人的联系。“最好在电子邮件中加入一些能够营造情感联系的词语。”Ariel Group的杜梅恩建议。

对切塔姆而言,康涅狄格学院的吉祥物——骆驼,就是这样一个词语。

如果希望预约电话会谈,那么你应当在电子邮件中附上带有自己空闲时间的日历链接。如果想要获得对方的推荐信,那么你应当提供模板或者相关细节信息,方便收件人下笔。

作家达万建议将电子邮件的篇幅控制在几段之内,并在正文中加入标题或编号,方便收件人阅读。她说:“迅速切入正题更能够赢得收件人的好感。”

Boomerang发现,电子邮件的字数在50字至125字之间时更容易收到回复,不过字数太少也不好,邮件少于10个字的回复率也会下降。

如果你与收件人很熟,可以省略正式签名,在电子邮件的末尾附上姓名或非正式签名即可。如果不熟,则可以根据你想传达的语气酌情选择“你真诚的朋友”、“共勉”、“祝好”、“非常感谢”等表述作为结尾。

达万表示:“根据我的经验,我的建议是:做自己、要专业。”

使用恰当的语气

与写给同事、探讨在哪吃午餐或下班去哪喝鸡尾酒的便条相比,发给老板或潜在客户的电子邮件自然应该更为正式。

如果意识到与之沟通的人等级更高,人们通常会采用更正式的语气,对此种自然倾向,达万解释道:“我们经常根据权力等级对电子邮件进行调整。”

达万将其描述为“信任与权力矩阵”。她表示,该问题的核心在于“谁的权力更大、我们有多信任彼此”。在关系中,你的权力越大、筹码越多、信任越强,你的沟通方式就能够越随意。

在某些情况下,使用表情符号传达信息可能已经足够“专业”。在另一些情况下,使用缩略词进行回复却可能会让收件人怀疑你不重视他们的时间或工作。

如果你想说服他人做某事或改变他人的想法,那么你在选词时一定要多加斟酌,并要让这些词语成为证明自己观点的有力论据。杜梅恩指出:“说服的关键在于语言,在于你的遣词造句。”

适时跟进,但不要惹人讨厌

如果你在发出电子邮件后迟迟没有收到回复,那么至少应当等上几天之后再跟进了解情况。切塔姆称:“初入社会,每个字都要拿捏到位。大家都太忙了。”

她建议发件人应当注意礼节,在做到坚持不懈的同时,也要懂得什么时候应该放弃。如果第一封电子邮件没有收到回复,那么发件人可以试着在对方可能不忙的时候再发一封邮件跟进了解相关情况,或者考虑更换主题后再发一封新邮件。

如果发送三封邮件后依然杳无音讯,那就到此为止吧。“不管怎么说,你至少做到了及时止损,面向未来。”

当你与收件人建立联系之后,就可以考虑跟进分享相关进展。“这会让对方很开心,对方也会很乐于了解自己是否对你有所帮助。”切塔姆说。

有时,后续的跟进才是最终达成目标的原因所在。在与康涅狄格学院的某位校友进行了三四次谈话之后,切塔姆终于被推荐给了该校友的太太,而正是那位女士最终帮助她获得了在摩根大通实习的机会。(财富中文网)

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

艾米•切塔姆在缅因州的乡下长大,没有在投行的目标招聘院校读书,家中也没有银行业的人脉资源,更没有能够帮她进入相关行业的亮眼简历。

她所拥有的只是电子邮箱和与陌生人接触的意愿。

在发出大概150封电子邮件之后,毕业于康涅狄格学院(Connecticut College,位于康涅狄格州新伦敦市的一所小型文理学院)的切塔姆终于如愿以偿,拿到了在摩根大通(J.P. Morgan)暑期实习的机会。在此过程之中,她也学会了如何利用电子邮件有效地说服他人。

她说:“写一封内容冗长却词不达意的电子邮件十分容易。”但要想写出一封可以让你梦想成真的电子邮件则绝非易事。

“要让收件人在点开邮件的瞬间就对邮件主题以及自己应当采取何种行动了然于心。”Ariel Group负责客户解决方案的副总裁米利亚姆•杜梅恩表示。作为一家咨询公司,Ariel Group致力于帮助客户在专业环境中提升沟通效率。

但要做到这一点有时并不容易,在你需要帮助时尤其如此。

切塔姆说:“不要拐弯抹角,我们之所以联系对方就是为了获得对方的帮助,但说无妨。” 切塔姆目前供职于总部在旧金山的早期风投公司Costanoa Ventures,他也是该公司的主要投资者之一。

选好主题

要想用邮件打动别人,首先你得让对方点开你的邮件。

《数字身体语言》(Digital Body Language)一书的作者埃丽卡•达万建议道,如果想凭借某封电子邮件立即引起收件人的注意,发件人可以在邮件主题上做文章,反映出这种紧迫性。她说:“在主题栏中纳入‘主题内容’和‘时间’要素能够促使收件人优先处理相关事项。”

主题栏内容应该简洁明了。另请注意,邮箱软件可能不会显示完整主题,因此,如果事属紧急,应该尽早说明。工作应用程序Boomerang发现,由3、4个字构成的主题最容易得到回复,而切塔姆认为由6到8个字构成的主题最容易得到回复。

不过无论主题长短,都必须包含足够的细节信息,从而吸引收件人点开你的电子邮件。切塔姆还建议说,发件人如果有特定诉求,也应该在主题中表明。

三思而行

现在,大家在查看收件箱时都是一扫而过,这种情况绝非个例。

达万称:“我们现在查看电子邮件时往往是一扫而过,然后再去搜索查找自己感兴趣的内容。因此常常会漏看信息或者答非所问。”

在发送自己草草写就的电子邮件之前,不妨多读一遍,不必字斟句酌,但应当确保你想要传达的信息及具体诉求都已经在邮件中清楚写明。

切勿匆忙发送信息,生气时尤其如此,也不要迫使收件人在字里行间挖掘你想要表达的想法。达万说:“现在写电子邮件马虎不得。你需要花些时间弄明白什么情况下可以写得简单随意一些,什么情况下应该给出更周到的答复。”

在需要讨论复杂、敏感或可能引起混乱的事项时,你可以考虑用开会或打电话的方式来代替电子邮件,这样能够最大化减少往来邮件的数量。

“一通电话比得上1000封电子邮件。”她说。

与人方便,与己方便

优秀的电子邮件总会尽可能地为收件人提供方便。这类邮件直截了当、语气专业,而且可以清楚地表达自己的目的。

如果你还不认识收件人,那么你首先应该做一下自我介绍,然后强调一下你与收件人之间的共通纽带(如校友关系),从而建立更私人的联系。“最好在电子邮件中加入一些能够营造情感联系的词语。”Ariel Group的杜梅恩建议。

对切塔姆而言,康涅狄格学院的吉祥物——骆驼,就是这样一个词语。

如果希望预约电话会谈,那么你应当在电子邮件中附上带有自己空闲时间的日历链接。如果想要获得对方的推荐信,那么你应当提供模板或者相关细节信息,方便收件人下笔。

作家达万建议将电子邮件的篇幅控制在几段之内,并在正文中加入标题或编号,方便收件人阅读。她说:“迅速切入正题更能够赢得收件人的好感。”

Boomerang发现,电子邮件的字数在50字至125字之间时更容易收到回复,不过字数太少也不好,邮件少于10个字的回复率也会下降。

如果你与收件人很熟,可以省略正式签名,在电子邮件的末尾附上姓名或非正式签名即可。如果不熟,则可以根据你想传达的语气酌情选择“你真诚的朋友”、“共勉”、“祝好”、“非常感谢”等表述作为结尾。

达万表示:“根据我的经验,我的建议是:做自己、要专业。”

使用恰当的语气

与写给同事、探讨在哪吃午餐或下班去哪喝鸡尾酒的便条相比,发给老板或潜在客户的电子邮件自然应该更为正式。

如果意识到与之沟通的人等级更高,人们通常会采用更正式的语气,对此种自然倾向,达万解释道:“我们经常根据权力等级对电子邮件进行调整。”

达万将其描述为“信任与权力矩阵”。她表示,该问题的核心在于“谁的权力更大、我们有多信任彼此”。在关系中,你的权力越大、筹码越多、信任越强,你的沟通方式就能够越随意。

在某些情况下,使用表情符号传达信息可能已经足够“专业”。在另一些情况下,使用缩略词进行回复却可能会让收件人怀疑你不重视他们的时间或工作。

如果你想说服他人做某事或改变他人的想法,那么你在选词时一定要多加斟酌,并要让这些词语成为证明自己观点的有力论据。杜梅恩指出:“说服的关键在于语言,在于你的遣词造句。”

适时跟进,但不要惹人讨厌

如果你在发出电子邮件后迟迟没有收到回复,那么至少应当等上几天之后再跟进了解情况。切塔姆称:“初入社会,每个字都要拿捏到位。大家都太忙了。”

她建议发件人应当注意礼节,在做到坚持不懈的同时,也要懂得什么时候应该放弃。如果第一封电子邮件没有收到回复,那么发件人可以试着在对方可能不忙的时候再发一封邮件跟进了解相关情况,或者考虑更换主题后再发一封新邮件。

如果发送三封邮件后依然杳无音讯,那就到此为止吧。“不管怎么说,你至少做到了及时止损,面向未来。”

当你与收件人建立联系之后,就可以考虑跟进分享相关进展。“这会让对方很开心,对方也会很乐于了解自己是否对你有所帮助。”切塔姆说。

有时,后续的跟进才是最终达成目标的原因所在。在与康涅狄格学院的某位校友进行了三四次谈话之后,切塔姆终于被推荐给了该校友的太太,而正是那位女士最终帮助她获得了在摩根大通实习的机会。(财富中文网)

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

Amy Cheetham grew up in rural Maine and didn’t go to the kind of college that investment banks aggressively recruit from. She didn’t have family connections to banking or a meticulously curated undergraduate resume to help her break into the business.

What she did have was an email address and a willingness to reach out to strangers.

After 150 or so emails, Cheetham—a graduate of Connecticut College, a tiny liberal arts school in New London, Connecticut—landed a coveted summer internship at J.P. Morgan. Along the way, she learned how to effectively use email as a tool of persuasion.

“It can be really easy to write a long meandering email that isn’t direct and to the point,” she says. Writing an email that leads to your desired outcome is something else entirely.

“As soon as someone opens an email they should know what it’s about and what they’re supposed to do,” said Miriam Dumaine, vice president of client solutions at the Ariel Group, a consultancy focused on helping people communicate better in professional settings.

Getting to that point isn’t always easy, especially when you’re asking for help.

“Don’t beat around the bush,” said Cheetham, who is now a principal investor at Costanoa Ventures, a San Francisco-based early-stage VC firm. “You’re reaching out because you want help. Being honest about that is totally fine.”

Be strategic with your subject line

Before you can get someone to act on your email, you have to get them to open it.

If an email requires immediate attention, reflect that urgency through its subject, recommends Erica Dhawan, the author of Digital Body Language. “Thinking about the what and a when in a subject line can go very far in helping people set priorities,” she says.

Keep subject lines short and remember email apps may not display them in full. If something truly is urgent, say so early on. The productivity app Boomerang found that subject lines of three to four words in length received the most responses, but Cheetham says she found keeping between six and eight words to be the sweet spot.

However short you decide to go with your subject line, you’ll need to include enough detail to entice your reader to click for more. If you’re asking for something specific, Cheetham recommends referencing that request in the subject line.

Slow down and be deliberate

You’re not the only one quickly skimming your inbox nowadays. Everyone does it.

“We tend to skim and search,” says Dhawan. “What that can cause us to do is not read a message clearly or respond clearly to what was being asked.”

Before you hit send on that hastily-drafted email, give it one more read. There’s no need to obsess over every word, but you should ensure your message—and any specific asks you’re making—are crystal clear.

Avoid firing off quick messages—especially if you’re angry—and don’t force recipients to read between the lines. “It’s not okay to be sloppy in email anymore,” Dhawan says. “Take the time to understand when it’s okay to be brief and when it’s important to have a more thoughtful reply.”

To minimize endless email chains, consider a meeting or phone call instead to talk through issues that are complex, sensitive, or likely to generate confusion.

“A phone call can be worth 1,000 emails,” she says.

Make it easy for the reader

The best emails make it as easy as possible for the recipient to take the desired action. They’re direct, convey a professional tone, and clearly articulate their goal.

If you don’t already know the recipient, start by introducing yourself and highlighting a common bond—like a shared alumni affiliation—to create a more personal connection. “You’ll want to include words that create an emotional connection,” says Dumaine of the Ariel Group.

For Cheetham, one of those words was camel, Connecticut College’s mascot.

If you’re asking to set up a phone call, include a calendar link with your availability. If you’re asking for a recommendation letter, offer a template or provide details to make it easier for your reader to draft their own.

Author Dhawan recommends keeping emails to just a few paragraphs and incorporating headings or bullets to improve readability. “Get to the point quickly and people will be more appreciative,” she says.

Boomerang found that emails between 50 and 125 words were more likely to receive a response. Don’t cut back too much, though. Boomerang found emails under 10 words elicited lower response rates.

If you know the recipient well, you can skip a formal sign off and end with your name or signature. Otherwise, Sincerely, Cheers, Best Wishes, and Thanks could work depending on the tone you’re looking to strike.

“My general rule of thumb here is be yourself and be professional,” says Dhawan.

Strike the right tone

An email to a boss or prospective client should be more formal than a quick note to your work spouse about where to have lunch or a happy hour cocktail.

“We often change our emails based on power levels,” says Dhawan, explaining a natural tendency people have to take a more formal tone with people they perceive to be their superiors.

She describes it as a trust and power matrix. It’s about “who has more or less power and how much do we trust each other,” she said. The more power, equity, and trust you have in a relationship, the more informally you can communicate.

In some situations, an emoji may be enough to professionally convey a message. In others, seemingly curt responses like “K” or Thx” could make a recipient wonder if you really value their time or contribution.

If you’re looking to persuade someone to do something or change their thinking, choose your words with care and use them to create a strong argument for your case. “Persuasion is about language,” says Dumaine. “It’s about the words that you use.”

Follow up—but don’t be annoying

If your email hasn’t received a response at all, wait at least a few days to follow up. “When you’re the junior, you’re hanging on every word,” says Cheetham. “People are super busy.”

She recommends being polite but persistent, but also knowing when to give up. If a first email hasn’t gotten a response, try sending a follow-up at a different time when an inbox may be lighter or consider a new subject line.

If you haven’t received a response after three emails, stop. “At the end of the day, you have cut your losses and move on at a certain point,” she says.

Once you’ve made a connection, consider following up to share updates on your progress. “People love it when you follow up and let them know if they were helpful,” Cheetham said.

Sometimes, it’s the follow-up that ultimately accomplishes the goal. It wasn’t until her third or fourth conversation with one fellow Connecticut College alum that Cheetham was referred to the person—his spouse—who ultimately helped her land at J.P. Morgan.

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