Ensuring People Read Your E-mails

There is nothing more frustrating than spending time crafting an email or a presentation that you know is going to help people and then come to find out that they never read it, and never intended to read it.  It’s even more frustrating to know they are going to other people wondering, how in the world do I do x,y, or z?

So what can be done to hopefully ensure that people read your emails and open your attachments?  Well, to google I went and I was happy to find a slew of articles, the first having been written by Jonathan Borge for Inc.com titled 7 Ways to Ensure Your Emails Get Read.  7 short steps, I think we can all try these and see what kinds of results we get.

1. Create a compelling subject line–>ok, check.

2. Write the email in a tone that tells others they can connect with you–>I thought this was a “check” but I guess it’s something to be worked on.

3. Make your emails simple, quick and easy to digest–>I can definitely work on this one.

4. End your emails with a clear call to action–>I will try this and see if something other than “please let me know if you have any questions” works better.

5. Work on timing.  Don’t send emails early on Monday mornings.  Middle fo the week and mid day usually work best–>Interesting concept and certainly something to test out.

6. Your image is important so make sure that your email is formatted in an easy to read manner–>Can fine tune

7. Put yourself in people’s shoes.  Would you want to read your email and open an attachment?–>Good question. 

So what are YOU going to do to ensure people read your emails?

P.S. More resources.
Were 7 steps too many?  Read Sally McGhee’s advice on the SIX steps to get your emails read.
Were 7 steps too few?  Then you might want to read Erik Sherman’s article on the TEN steps to getting your emails read.

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Memorial Day Weekend

Can you believe that Memorial Day Weekend is already upon us?  Unfortunately here in New England we won’t have the warmest weekend but it’s still nice to know that those really warm summery days are right around the corner.  So what better way to spend your time, than to go outdoors?

Here are some ideas I pulled from several online sites (Mass VacationsVisiting New England, and New England Events):

All weekend (May25th-27th) there will be street performers performing out in Faneuil Hall.  While you’re there, pick up some fruits and veggies at Hay Market!

Are you looking to better yourself?  Head to the Museum of Fine Arts.  Admission will be free all weekend!

The Mayflower Museum House will also be offering free tours this weekend and the next two weekends to follow!

Head over to Hyannis and watch the sail boats race in the annual Figawi Regatta.

If you are out in the Chesterwood area, check out the Antique & Automobile Show from 10am-4pm on the 26th.

Keeping Your Blog Content Fresh

When I found and article on this topic last week I immediately made sure to follow tip number 2 and write my posting on this topic.  Bob Fine shares his 7 tips on how to blog daily, which I used to do, and how to keep your blog content fresh.  I think one of the missing elements is coming up with a blog that will cover topics that you yourself are interested in and want to learn more about.  There is nothing worse than forcing yourself to write.  I do definitely agree with Bob’s 5th tip on flexibility.  This blog has evolved quite a bit, and I’m sure has room to do even more evolving.  It started with the name “Our Unemployed Life” and then morphed into “Career Advice 101.”  This change came when I finally was no longer unemployed but still wanted to share tips, advice and just have a place for general banter sometimes.

So without further ado, here are Bob’s 7 tips for keeping your blog content fresh:

1. Self-discipline
2. Developing more blog topic ideas than you need
3. Improving your communication skills all the time
4. An audience that cares
5. Flexibility in some way, shape, or form
6. Comfort with brevity and incompleteness
7. Tools to make you better than you otherwise would be

What did you do today?  Did you read or write a blog post?

P.S. And to support the image at the beginning of this post.  I always welcome guest bloggers.  Please leave me a comment with the topic that you would like to blog about and I’ll write back to you right away.

The Job Search and Social Media

Once a month I get The Social Media Monthly magazine which covers a plethora of topics regarding…social media.  Well, in March the entire magazine was more or less focused on securing a job via social media, developing your career through social media, how to use social media to make employers chase you…the list goes on but I think you get my drift.  This issue was right up the alley of this blog.

For this week’s posting I decided to focus on sharing Erik Deckers article on the Five Steps to Find Your Next Job with Social Media.

1. Identify the Influencers – “The great thing about networks like Twitter and LinkedIn is that when you want to connect with people, including C-level executives, their administrative assistants aren’t gatekeeping you out…Be sure to rewrite the connection message on LinkedIn to explain why you want to connect (don’t mention the job; mention any connections you have)…To find these people on Twitter, don’t search for them there…Instead, Google their name and “Twitter.” Or do a bio search on Twellow.com.”

2. Connect with Them on Google+ – “Google uses something similar to “Balance Theory,” a communication persuasion theory, when compiling your search engine results pages (SERPs)…If you’re job hunting…share your items-especially the ones you wrote-frequently on Google+.  It increases the odds that your connections will see your content in their search results, and they’ll assume you know a lot about the topic.”

3. Use Google Author Rank – “When you find blog posts and magazine articles on Google SERP, you will occasionally see the author’s photo and name next to that entry.  That’s showing up thanks to Google’s newest algorithm, AuthorRank…AuthorRank is like Klout for writers…Protect your AuthorReputation…by only publishing good, valuable, sharable, non-spammy work…write good stuff that people want to share…make sure you have a decent-sized network of people who find you interesting…Don’t stuff posts with keywords…Don’t won a blog or website crammed with ads and poor-quality links…hyperlink your name in your bio to your Google+ profile, and include the rel+”author” tag…next, go to your Google+ profile, and update the Contributes To section to include that particular web address.”

4. Set up a Private Listening Column on Twitter – “Set up a list on Twitter.com (make it a private list, so no one else can find it), and add people in your target group-potential employers, colleagues, or even clients.  Communicate with these people as it’s appropriate; answer questions, make recommendations, retweet their blog posts and reading recommendations…set up more lists for industry-related terms, conferences, or issues, including hashtags…”

5. Blog about the Things They’re Talking About – “The best way to show people what you’re good at is to regularly blog about it.  It establishes your credibility, and it gives people a place to find you online…don’t be afraid to disagree if the situation calls for it…”

So what do you think?  Do you agree or disagree with these points?  With the world becoming more social this truly does look like the way that the job search is heading.  It’s so much easier to connect with someone on line.  I remember when I was job searching, I’d seek out the HR or hiring managers on LinkedIn and write them a personal note.  Now, I didn’t follow rule number 1 down to the T as I did mention that I had seen a particular job posting and hence my reaching out to them but none the less.  I think the point is to not use that incredibly generic, and in my opinion annoying, sentence of “I’d like to connect with you LinkedIn.”  There is no quicker way for me personally to delete your request to connect than if you were to send that to me.  If you can’t take two seconds to tell me who you are and why we should connect then that tells me that you’re just looking for more friends, and quite honestly, that’s not being professional. 

What did you do today?  Did you reach out to someone on LinkedIn?  Did you set up a private Twitter column?

On Location – Grapevine, Texas

I have always wanted to go and explore the Southern part of the United States and wouldn’t you know it, I had to go to Texas for a sales meeting.  Luckily, we had to be there a bit early and I had a chance to explore the wonderful city of Grapevine. 

We happened to stay at the Gaylord Texan which is a great hotel/convention center.  They even have a shuttle that will take you to Historic Grapevine or to an outdoor mall.  Staying at the hotel?  Don’t forget to pack your suit or running sneaks as they have an indoor and outdoor pool as well as a trail for jogging.  OR if someone in your party is a huge Bass Pro Shop enthusiast, check out a huge Bass Pro Shop nearby.                           

                               Gaylord Texan       Trains at the Gaylord Texan

But I digress, downtown Grapevine is lovely.  You can sit at a Boulangerie cafe and enjoy a quiet meal and coffee, or you can pop in from store to store for some antiques, or better yet, check out the wineries that are all in walking distance.  So don’t delay, if you’re in the area…visit today!

       Downtown Grapevine   Downtown Grapevine  Buena Vida winery  Downtown Grapevine

What did you do today?

P.S. Here is a link to the full site of all the great things to do in Grapevine, TX.