Two Kinds of E-Mail
Here was an e-mail that got my attention. It was very relevant—to me.
Sitting in my files for three months were four $80 balcony seats to the Mel Brooks musical, “Young Frankenstein.”
The musical was to be the capstone of an evening with my stepbrother and his wife—our once-a-year splurge for something on Broadway guaranteed to be tasteless and hilarious. (Mel Brooks did not disappoint.)
Ticketmaster’s reminder e-mail was thoughtful, and I was glad to have received it. Being an airhead, I might well have found those tickets in the file next summer.
That e-mail made me feel that Ticketmaster and Mel Brooks cared about me. These are folks I like doing business with.
It was short, sweet, to the point and wasted none of my time.
That’s how most e-mails are these days.
Is it possible to make an e-mail look important—give it gravitas?
If so, when and how should you do it?
How Mark Cuban Deals With E-Mail
Here’s a 2005 online interview by Tom Steinert-Threlkeld, founder of Baseline.com, with billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban:
How many e-mails do you receive a day?
Not including spam e-mails, probably 1,000 or so.
How many of these do you reply to?
All employees and biz related, all customers and about 10% of strangers.
How much time every day do you spend on reading? On responding?
3 to 4 hours per day.
Who gets the quickest response and why?
Someone who wants to spend money with one of my companies. For obvious reasons.
What expectations do you have about instructions contained in e-mail you send to employees, managers and executives of companies you’re doing business with?
That they are received and understood as if I were standing there telling them the same in person. This is how I communicate with employees. It’s how I expect their first line of communications to be with me.