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In person is 34 x times better than email

Harvard Business Review says it’s 34 times more effective to ask for something face-to-face than by email. Here’s a summary of the research.

It’s mentioned in this podcast¬†interviewing¬†Erin Gargan, author of Digital Persuasion – sell smarter in the digital age. For me the most value in the podcast is from minute 27 or thereabouts (the last 10 minutes of it). Here are some other useful takeaways:

  • to get someone to actually read your email use a short subject line totally relevant to them (even if it’s irrelevant to the content of the message) – she suggests for the podcast host a line like “Austin bbq fan?” (because he lives in Austin, and he likes eating bbq)
  • avoid the use of “I” in your sales-y emails
  • we tend to be less inhibited when we send electronic media (you know this: people think they can be more insulting, more salesy, more pushy: there are arguments on facebook that would never occur if two people were at a dinner party together) – it’s called the online dis-inhibition effect

If you want your boss to read your email, pick up your report, give you budget, then make sure the subject line of your email is really clear so that they will actually open it (I know several of my clients who have more than 20,000 unread emails in their inbox: it has to catch their eye to get through their filters)

Here’s another way to get people to open your emails. Have a negative question in the subject line (read the article to get more clarity).

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