Emails are multi-faceted tools within our communication strategy. They can serve as the primary method or the supplemental method to follow another strategy. Emails can request feedback when they are opened encouraging the recipient to reply. Emails can set the stage for in-person communications such as setting an appointment. Literally, emails are the most faceted tool in our communication arsenal.
Now that we have defined the value of our email, you may think about realistic ways to improve your email game. The components of an email can be very theoretical should you decide to use human psychology. Remember, theories explain how we can get the outcomes we want out of life. Theories explain the phenomena of how we decide to do what we do. The real trick with emails is to understand how to infuse theory into their deployment.
Before we get into leveraging theory to cause reactions within the recipient’s mind, we need to go over the components of an email. In the email, there is a recipient and a sender. There are subject lines and content fields. Along with content, there is an application to auto-send your email at a specific time and date. Lastly, you can even add files to the email.
Preferably, you should use the same email domain as the recipient you are sending the email to. The second option is to use a professional email domain that reflects yourself or your business. It is not professional to use a non-domain email address because you run the risk of appearing unprofessional. Secondly, it may increase your chances of going straight to the spam folder. If you are just representing yourself, it may be beneficial to budget for a professional domain email.
Lets compare a non-domain email versus a domain email. “Angel@ gmail/outlook/hotmail .com” versus “Angel@subthesis.com” looks very different despite having the same name attached to the email address. Think about your email address as a social value. You build your social value by branding yourself or the organization you associate with. My hope is that you start to look at your professional domain email as an opportunity to adopt a brand that you will grow.
The theory that accompanies this is the theory of planned behavior. With a personal brand, we are seeking to improve our social value. Because we improved our social value through proper branding, we are increasing the social value people believe we have. This increase or surplus is going to lead to gaining trust among the people we want to contact.
Now, if you are within the same organization, then you have to focus on frequency. This relates to the same theory, except we are looking to gain trust through the frequency of contact. Because we work with our colleagues, we have to be aware that our social value is measured through reputation. For example, if we are known as the person that upholds ethical values, then more like-minded people will gravitate toward us. In the same light, people who do not value ethics will not gravitate toward you, so be mindful.
The last part of your account is filling out your personal information. This includes a photograph of yourself or the organization you represent. This is because we as humans mirror the images we see to illustrate empathy and sympathy for others. If you have a happy photo of yourself or a professional logo attached to your domain email, then you are more likely to receive positive emails back. Lastly, having a nice photo builds reassurance that you are authentic because what looks nice and beautiful to us seems more professional.
*Note: The email address (other than Angel@subthesis.com) is only an example to represent educational material for the reader.
The subject line is the business pitch that you provide people. It is the one liner that people glance through. It is the one liner that some email servers will filter for. Lastly, the subject line is an opportunity to provide a friendly welcome to the recipient. The subject line represents a significant opportunity to go above and beyond compared to those you are compared to.
Using the theory of planned behavior, we are going to try and minize the barriers to a perceived action. This means we are going to present the email in a friendly light. This means we are going to accurately describe the email in common terms. Lastly, we are going to be concise with our word choice. Typically, the shorter subject line is the better one; however, we will talk about taking it to the next level.
Typically in my email subject lines, I will use this combination. I start with the one to three word description. I follow up with my name. Lastly, I end the subject line with a thank you for your time note. This looks like this, “ Emailing Made Easy | Angel Reyes | Thank you for your time and consideration”. Now, we are using our subject line with three components versus the common method for a subject line.
To break down the example, the description concisely lets the user know that you can easily capture the idea of the email. The second portion deals with our personal branding or organization branding to build reassurance through social value. The last portion focuses on good manners and describes your ethical values. For example, the earlier reference lets people who value the same ethics gravitate towards you, and this reflects the example accurately.
*Note: There are many more theoretical frameworks that we can use to infuse into subject lines; however, this serves a valuable purpose in understanding the value of theories.
The content box is where you are adding the core details about the email. The email in this case should always reflect the “Emailing Made Easy…” example we used earlier. This is because we do not want to deceive the reader. We are building trust with someone that has trusted to open the email based on our presentation. After the subject line, we want to deploy hierarchy and a good color palette.
Hierarchy is the architecture that we frame our emails. For example, we do not start with the ending of our email and work our way to the start. We start with the most important idea versus the ending conclusion. This is because we want to deliver concise bullets to the reader that is easy to digest. You can look below at the suggested hierarchy in the content box below.
Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)
Paragraph One to support
Call to Action
Now that we have the hierarchy in place, we can work on our color palette. It is important not to use red or green because many people may be color-blind. From my experience, I have only needed to use variations of black. Secondly, if it is an organization that I am reaching out to or an individual that I know, then I may add their favorite color. Remember to keep their favorite color in the context of the message, such as not using red to illustrate positive information.
You can look below to see how I would use a monochromatic color palette in my emails.
Good Morning Reader,
By clicking here, you can visit my manuscript on emailing like a professional researcher.
Because many researchers understand the power of theory, it is a monopoly on the market for those unaware. Being unaware will cause you to lose out on opportunities that come across your desk. Now you do not need to have a doctoral degree to infuse theoretical knowledge. Unlike many researchers unaware of their influence, I have decided to take the time to make a positive influence. My positive influence is focused on helping you increase your understanding of emails to an elite level.
You can click here to visit the manuscript to learn more about this secret.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope that you have time to have a wonderful day.
Angel Reyes DrPH(s), MPH
Subthesis - “ A place where people grow and learn.”
In this example, we can see a lot here. We can see the hierarchy used. We can see the color palette used. We can see the spacing of how the reader gains the information. Notice that the bold is not together. Notice that the additional backup words are slightly less weighted compared to the other text. By performing this, you can create a 3-D effect for your reader to have the most important information pop at them.
Auto sending your emails is a vital opportunity to create coherent email campaigns, and they make your salutations more realistic. The example illustrates “Good Morning” because autosend will make the email send in the morning. There are two main benefits here, amd maybe three. The third benefit depends on your business model.
The first benefit is that you sound more realistic with your emails, and that is not to say that using theory de-humanizes you. It is to say that autosending makes your time availability more realistic. This means that if you are responding to emails after work, then you can autosend for the next work morning. This makes people think you are not working overtime and makes them think that you are atop of everything. Depending on your field, this may greatly affect your chances of getting promoted or obtaining the client.
The second benefit is that you can start the day with good news. Imagine being a leader with completed paperwork for people in your department. You can send an email notifying them that their paperwork is complete first thing in the morning. If you are looking to jumpstart their day for productivity, being happy definitely helps. Remember not all Key Performance Improvements (KPIs) are objectively tangible.
The third benefit depends on your business model. Because you may have deployed a chatbot to handle your emails, so you can add a conditional rule to autosend responses in the morning. In other cases, you can have people from another country working your emails. Depending on your business model this could help those monitoring your email a lot more human because it showcases responses in the same time zone.