Typical email inboxes contain an overwhelming number of messages from myriad sources. As a result, for any recipient, professional emails can get lost amidst a sea of newsletters, social media alerts, personal messages, and spam.

In other words, to get the attention you deserve, you must craft messages in ways that stand out. Otherwise, you risk having your emails ignored, overlooked, automatically deleted or filtered as spam by their intended recipients. Although such a daunting task might seem almost impossible, you can increase your email response rates by using the following tips.

1. Make Sure to Be Well Prepared

Preparation can lay a solid foundation for every email message that you send. To begin with, define the purpose of your email as well as your desired result. This step will help you keep your message focused. Additionally, you should consider your recipients and adjust your writing style in order to increase your chances of getting a response. Although some recipients might respond well to formal language, others might react better to a conversational approach.

Learn as much as you can about your recipients, including their names. After all, a personally addressed message can often accomplish more than generic communications. Moreover, you should always check your recipients’ social media streams to better understand their attitudes and communication styles. In case you are writing to an established customer, for example, you want to explain your proposal from their perspective so that they can understand how they will benefit from it.

2. Write an Appropriate Subject Line

Many spam filters and other automated processes often process messages based on their subject line. As a result, the fate of your email may often depend on this single element of your message. For one thing, you should avoid using any terms that email clients can interpret as spam. Words such as “free” and “buy”, for example, can often prevent an email from reaching its recipient.

As has been noted, personalization can also help. Rather than using spammy language, try phrases that indicate a personal gift to the recipient. Also, subjects that contain pithy statements or plays on words can also catch the eyes of a busy inbox owner. Meanwhile, certain types of correspondence may require a certain subject line, such as “Resume” for a job applicant. In such cases, your email will likely get lost if you don’t comply.

3. Wisely Choose Your Address and Platform

Choose a “sent from” email address that seems like a real person. After all, email addresses with lots of numbers and unusual characters have an unprofessional appearance that can turn off your recipients. In fact, such unconventional addresses can often trigger spam and automatic delete filters.

After choosing a professional sounding address for you as a sender, you must decide which platform to use to send your message. Tools such as Yahoo Mail and Gmail can often suffice for informal or casual correspondence. Although those have good security, many professionals, however, choose to use email programs such as Outlook because they can recall messages in case they contain an error. The key is to understand the benefits of each provider and choose the one that best meets your needs.

4. Pay Great Attention to Your E-mail Content

Typographical and grammatical errors reflect poorly on you as a professional. With this in mind, spend time proofreading your messages before sending them. When possible, get someone else to read your email before you click the “send” button. Of course, you can make the job easier by staying focused on your message.

You should have defined the purpose of your message in the planning stage of your email. As you write, begin by directly addressing your recipient and then writing with the intention of getting a desirable response. Also, organization matters, so number your points and, if necessary, break complex messages into several precisely focused stand-alone emails.

As you write, use short paragraphs and legible typefaces to improve readability. Also, write with an urgent but polite tone to avoid wordiness. Still, you should show empathy as you write by giving your recipients’ perspective in mind. Other ways to craft effective emails include limiting yourself to five sentences, using only short introductions, using the active voice, and conforming to a standard structure.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, you can get fantastic response rates from your professional emails when you invest some time into planning. In fact, simply by understanding your ideal customers, you can develop products and customize your sales, service and support strategies in ways to improve your overall business results.

Furthermore, an effective subject line can dramatically increase the chance of having a recipient actually open your message. Although the tools you use to craft and send your message can also affect its success, so does the quality of your writing. Ultimately, by using the above tips, you can consistently create professional emails that deliver desirable outcomes.