Futurist, X-Prize guy, longevity researcher Peter Diamandis appears in my email inbox regularly. This email about emails caught my attention. I receive about a hundred a day. Many are from PR professionals seeking attention for their client.

Evidently they all went to the same school and bought the same template. The subject line seldom tempts me. The opening paragraph attempts to set a context with a trend or recent news item. Then there are a couple of filler paragraphs containing generic marketing words. If I have stuck with it this long, by the fourth paragraph or so, they discuss a little of the product or solution with an invitation for me to publish a guest article (which I don’t do) or an interview that, if I’m lucky, contains five possible topics.

I know several things from this.

  • They have no personal relationship with me
  • They have not looked at my blog
  • They do not know what I write about
  • They do not know if I’ve covered the topic previously
  • They cannot come to the point

Therefore, I offer this summary of Diamandis’s post on emails. Visit his site for deeper analysis.

  • Keep it under five lines
  • Make the subject line unique, meaningful, and searchable
  • Use easy-to-read formatting
  • Put your specific action request in the first line
  • Make the ask really simple—make it hard to say “no”
  • If something is really urgent, don’t email—call or send a text
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