JR Raphael

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

 I don't have a BlackBerry. But when working in the home office, I'm addicted to e-mail, sometimes checking my inbox every 10 or 15 minutes.

In his PC World blog, JR Raphael implies that I may be a sicko.

The reason I check e-mail so frequently is that if a reader takes the time to write, I want to post the comment right away so this new--and potentially valuable--addition to the story content can be seen by other readers.

Otherwise, I'm ruthless with e-mail. My motto: Scan the inbox and delete. I don't save e-mails, although I do save some of their contents in a WORD filing system. If I'm flying overseas and don't get to my inbox for 24 hours, e-mail builds up, as it does overnight. But I never have more than 30 or 40 e-mails to scroll through, and 90% are instantly deleted without reading them.

If I accidentally delete an important e-mail, the sender didn't spend time on the subject line. If it's really important, it will be resent. If it's really, really important, it will be sent by certified or registered mail (signature required), or by FedEx.

How can a perfect stranger get my attention--persuade me to open an e-mail rather than delete it?

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