You’ve Got [Too Much] Mail.

You’ve Got [Too Much] Mail.

According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute study, the average office worker spends about 28 percent of the work week managing email.  That’s the most of any activity in the workplace.  Just reading that fact tires  even the most energetic of us!
So, how can you earn the attention of your audience with your next email campaign?  Here are a few tips:

  1. Less is more.  Write your content and then challenge yourself to cut the fluff – and not by just a word or two.  Try cutting it by at least 1/3.  Learn to love white space.
  2. Go graphic.  They say a picture is worth 1,000 words.  Use an image that evokes an emotional response, whether positive or negative.  
  3. Tell a story.  Better yet, share a story from a participant or supporter.  Third party perspective adds an element of credibility you can’t attain for yourself.
  4. Speak the language of your audience. Set the appropriate tone and stay true to your mission.
  5. Get creative.   No one wins a distinguished honor by doing exactly what’s been done before.  Go out on a limb and make it memorable.  You won’t know what works until you try.  

Before sending your message, implement a metric system to evaluate your results. If the response is sub-par, dig for the lessons learned and try something new.  If it is favorable, assess what worked, pat yourself on the back, and keep moving forward.


Rachel Aiken has served  as the Center’s communications assistant for three years.  In this role, she reads and sends hundreds of emails every day.


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