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How to write effective e-mail proposals

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A simple guide and tips to write effective e-mails that get noticed and responded to!

Published in: Business, Technology

How to write effective e-mail proposals

  1. 1. How to write effective e-mails Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal Founder – therodinhoods.com
  2. 2. What inspired this deck? • As a founder of a 15 yr startup group (based in India) I have received zillions of e-mail proposals that are: – Badly constructed or framed – Too long-winded & ‘foggy’ to bother to read – Don’t seem to make an impression on WHY I should respond – Seem more laden with vanity than humility • I want to make people write better mails!
  3. 3. WHO is this deck meant for? • Entrepreneurs, students, young freshly minted professionals, social workers, volunteers in NGOs, anyone who has just started working and needs to polish their communication skills. • Graduates from science, tech, who have not had exposure to communications and soft skills (specifically in India). • EXPERTS in communication, CEOs, Business leaders, folks who have ‘been there, done that’ and who can review this deck, ADD their expertise and make this better!!!
  4. 4. 5 steps to writing effective e-mails • Simple, direct 1. Greet • Crisp, impactful 2. Introduce • Informative, intriguing 3. Give Context • Important, obvious 4. Explain benefit to receiver • Commitment seeking 5. End with call for action
  5. 5. 1. Greet • Please, please, please DON’T write things like: “Dear Alok, Hope this finds you in the pink/red/green/yellow of heath, wealth or death…” (I am brown and happy to be so) “Dear Amok/ Adok/ Ashok/ Ahok” (my name is Alok so be VERY CAREFUL about cut paste mails and mail software that mismatch names).
  6. 6. 1. Greet • Keep it Simple and Direct and based on your relationship and the context of your mail: “Alok, hope you are well.” “Hey Alok, it was nice meeting you.” “Hi Alok, connecting after a long time.” “Dear Alok, pardon this sudden intrusion of your time.”
  7. 7. 2. Introduce • Keep the introduction crisp, brief and IMPACTFUL! “I am the co-founder and CEO of a globally ranked gaming company – games2win.com” “I am the founder of therodinhoods.com – a leading social network of Indian entrepreneurs” “I represent the Art of Living – the world’s largest NGO dedicated to improving the lives of people” “I am an entrepreneur dedicated to changing the way the people in the world manage their contacts” “I work for a startup that’s been featured on TechCrunch twice and is obsessed by creating a solution that allows apps to play on all platforms…”
  8. 8. 3. Context • This is the most important part of your e-mail. Take pains to explain: – What you want from the recipient – Why you want what you want – Any important information that may make the reader interested, intrigued, curious, or ‘wow’ him/her – Provide real, factual, hard hitting pointers or data that make the reader appreciate your pitch
  9. 9. 4. Benefit • Why should the receiver react to your mail? – What’s the benefit to the recipient? – What makes the mail something the receiver immediately wants to respond to or pass on to someone else for prompt action? – Even goodwill is a benefit! Just tug at the heartstrings if there is no commercial benefit!
  10. 10. 5. Call for Action DON’T end your mail with “look forward to your revert”. PLEASE end with a call for action. It always works: – Can I meet you on Thursday at 3 pm? All I need is 10 minutes! – Is it possible for you to reply marking a cc to those I could follow up with? – I understand you are speaking at x conference on Friday. Can I meet you after your session for 7-8 minutes? – Please let me get on a call with you? I need precisely 6 minutes on the outside! – Please reply saying “Yes!”
  11. 11. Subject lines!!! • Are very important! – Please remember NOT to forward mails to start a new discussion. (Fwd: looks ugly on the subject line and immediately makes me switch off). – Use interesting, intriguing lines. Avoid long- winded lines/lines that include “A winning proposal/an offer you can’t refuse”, etc. – What’s worked on me are lines like, “This needs your attention”; “May I request…”; “I’m not sure you are aware...”; “I have to bring this to your attention”, “This is a personal request”, etc.
  12. 12. Check these subject lines (USA Democrats office)
  13. 13. More subject lines (USA Democrats office)
  14. 14. A perfect e-mail I received last week! It provoked me to visit the site and comment. Notice the Subject line, the introduction (with slight flattery), humble request and stated benefit to them. They appealed, I responded! EXAMPLE!!!
  15. 15. If you have a celebrity in-house, use him or her!
  16. 16. Homework! • Rather than sharing more examples, let’s do this: - Assume that I am starting the “Indian Institute of Entrepreneurs” (IIE) that will teach, educate, mobilize and fund Indian entrepreneurs. - Can you write me a mail pitching why I should meet you in this regard? You could be ANYONE – an entrepreneur pitching social media marketing; an apps Company; a brick & mortar business that is a recruiting consultant or one that does interiors! You could pitch to teach, to consult or be the gardener! - Write a mock mail [let the subject line end with (#MockMail)] to alok@rodinhood.com I will also send you instant feedback! This will be an inclusive, learning exercise!
  17. 17. Connect with me! e-mail - alok@rodinhood.com Facebook - facebook.com/rodinhood Twitter - @rodinhood My social network for anyone enterprising! therodinhoods.com Presentations – http:slideshare.net/rodinhood

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