Engage with Email

WRITTEN December 6, 2016 Author: Rich Atkins

How to Engage Readers with Email

(Or How To AVOID Alienating Others With Email)


When you send an email, do you build (or break) rapport? Will your writing automatically start a pleasant dialogue?

How you present yourself in writing will determine whether or not you get an answer, or are flat-out ignored.


When responding, try a formula like this:

Notice that there is a salutation before the person’s name, rather than starting abruptly. Murphy’s Law of Email is, “If an email can be misinterpreted, it will be!” To avoid this problem, start with a greeting before the name (“Hello,” “Greetings”).

Dear Loretta,

Then, follow the salutation by a stand-alone pleasant statement.

It was great to see you on Tuesday.


Fantastic presentation at this morning’s meeting.


Hope you had a terrific weekend.

After these opening pleasantries, it’s your chance to show that you are an expert in your field by expressing understanding of their needs. Also, you can demonstrate that it’s not all about you–that it’s about the recipient. Did you notice how “I,” “me,” or “my” did not show up in this communication so far?

The email you sent on Thursday speaks clearly of a growing company with leadership challenges. In order for your organization to transition into greater efficiency, these issues need to be addressed.


It would be great to speak with you to determine the specific goals you have for an onsite training program, as well as the outcomes you expect. Do you have time for a quick call on Tuesday in the afternoon, or would Thursday morning be better?

Still, no first-person pronouns. This subtly tells the recipient that you’re more interested in her/him than yourself. Also, the recipient was presented with choicesOffering options shows respect and gives control to the reader, which is what every customer wants.


A word about selling here: this kind of approach also educates the customer to learn that just because he/she puts out a call for a certain kind of product/service, you’re not going to simply jump and send a proposal that fills that bill. If you want to sell correctly to a customer, find out what her/his specific wants and needs are. Then, you as the expert, can deliver exactly what is needed.

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