Five Ways to Get Your Email Ignored

We need you to email all your friends. We need you and your friends to email Dr. Dance, Maria Lowry, and Mr. Last.

We also need you to get your email read. Please don’t do the things on this list.

1) Repeat a lot of facts.

By this time, it’s safe to presume that the message is pretty widespread. If you want to turn people off, repeat the facts they already know.

It’s safe and effective to say “If you need more background, go here.”

2) Write a long message.

Email is like sushi — small pieces and variety work best. If someone has to scroll to get to the bottom of your email, chances are they won’t.

Email should be less than one smartphone screen long wherever possible.

3) Don’t include a call to action.

If you don’t want something, don’t ask! Keep people confused about why you’re sending the message.

Or, you could have a subject like, “Please send emails for us!” Ask in the body of the message, too. For example, “We need you to send email to Dr. Dance (ddance@bcps.org) and Maria Lowry (mlowry@bcps.org) to tell them you support keeping Hereford High School’s current schedule.”

4) Make sure everyone sees the correspondent list.

People love to scroll through your list of two hundred friends, and adore having their email address publicized to all of them. Not!

Put your list in the BCC field, unless you really want everyone to know who you’re sending to.

5) Say the exact same thing as someone else.

Copy/paste is easy, so everyone should use it, right? Wrong!

Make your email personal. Speak from your experience or belief. You can use facts to bolster your point, but first-hand experience and stories will have more impact. “My son benefits from the current scheduling model, so please don’t change it” is a good subject line for an email to the administration, as is “I’m a sophomore, and won’t be able to get the classes I need if you change the scheduling model.” “I support keeping the current schedule” just doesn’t have the same impact.

Happy emailing!