There used to be a time whereby I would reply to every e-mail which I received. It was considered the polite thing to do and you never knew when that same contact may be just who you need. As a blogger this is particularly relevant to keep in mind with PRs moving around between companies (as well as being good for your Brand/you as a person).
However, there came a point where the sheer volume of e-mail became far too much and I could not keep up with it (not unless I wanted to consider purely replying to e-mail as a full-time job and/or not getting any sleep!). Even with trying to prioritize relevant e-mails is very time-consuming – and am sure the sender does not want to waste time either so here is a list of why I immediately hit delete on certain e-mails:
The subject line is a great place to grab my attention, especially if it is something I am going to be interested in, but equally it can make me decide straight away that this e-mail is not for me. Things that can really do this for me (once I have whittled down the complete spam) are ones that suggest that this is a generic e-mail and my blog hasn’t been read – for example ones that start “Why not treat your Mother this Mothering Sunday” when my Mom died 18 years ago. Unfortunately, the e-mail could have something relevant for myself (as a mother) and my readers but I am upset by this point and so it is already in the deleted folder.
How you address me
My name is Joy – you can even call me Pinkoddy – it is not Hey! And certainly not Babe, Hun or Love! Occasionally these aren’t deleted but the best way to get around this is to say sorry for the mass e-mail or something. But honestly if you really want a relationship then it won’t take long to find my name. Not addressing me at all tends to feel like a copied and pasted press release too – so unless the content is super interesting then again it’s been deleted.
Pretending to have read my blog
It is all very nice and flattering that you or your wife love my blog but I actually am not fond of lies, even little white ones. The fact that you are citing my last published post as a favourite and that you/she never comments is a bit of sign (less so the commenting mind). Equally offering me baby products when my youngest is 7 years old and I am clearly not having any more children is a waste of my time and yours.
Feedback I have received from another blogger is also misunderstanding the blog audience. Make sure you know which topics are actually of interest to the readers.
If you think the only thing lacking from my blog is you then I suggest you go and write your own! I am not saying that I never host things for free but suggesting that I lack ideas or that my audience (who you clearly know nothing about) would just love what/how you write – is going to get me reaching for that delete button (and you are lucky it has gone there because remember some bloggers are still having the time to reply to ALL their e-mails and it may not give quite the response you were after!)
Likewise I am not interested in “a chance to win” something by adding a link to some random site. If you have something you want done without payment that clearly is not even what I write about then may I suggest you tell me what is in it for me (or any other blogger) – unless we already have a long-term relationship and then it won’t need to be explicit (and nor would I have deleted it in the first place). I am sorry but I am self-employed and the Tax man wants to know what I am doing with my working hours. Besides I could be spending time with my family, sleeping, doing housework, reading a book, watching TV – I think you get the idea.
I haven’t worked with you despite all your previous e-mails
Sometimes I have sent an e-mail and we have established that we aren’t the right fit for each other – but despite this you continue to constantly e-mail me. Some people this even gets to a point where I make rules to move them straight to delete or in severe cases I have to block them. If it is obvious that this relationship isn’t happening then PLEASE just remove me from your mailing list (especially annoying when they even go to the trouble to follow rule two!) See also the point about reading my blog – actually reading blogs may save you a lot of wasted time – and reach your appropriate audiences.
The first time I see most e-mails is on my mobile phone and some just don’t look right, or well, get to the point. If there’s too much uninteresting stuff I tend to just delete that too.
To be honest I am sure I need some help with my own e-mails. I am usually to the point to save wasting time – with room for expansion later on. I guess it could be seen as blunt. How about you – what makes you delete or respond to an e-mail?