When I desperately need to learn a new skill or concept in marketing, the way I go about it is to slap a blog post out of the topic.
I’d gather a few resources, study the hell out of them, and put my newfound knowledge into a post.
Some weeks back, I published an article on how to write a polite DM to anyone on social media in 3 simple steps.
As usual, I wrote the sucker for myself a while ago. I wanted a simple template I can reach out to whenever I need to send DMs on social media.
Well, if you’re thinking, O gosh… as a creative, sending cold DMs is a skill you have to master if you care about connecting with people in your space.
Except if you are Gary Vee or Seth Godin or Neil Patel in which case, not you, but people have to learn how to reach out to you.
So, I did a little research on the topic.
No, the research I did didn’t involve reading other blog posts or watching videos that say “How to write a Perfect DM, yara yara yara.”
What I did was looked out for proven emails that rocked with insane responses, and then studied them.
You know, I learned more about writing studying Williams Zinsser’s books than reading his ‘On writing well.”
You’d probably learn more about speaking by studying great orators than following their advice on how to speak.
That’s not a rule or theory, it’s how learning works. Or if you’d like, how deep learning works.
I also read a few articles that analyzed proven emails. why and how they worked.
I found marketing examples invaluable in this quest.
Now I’m going to summarize the most important thing I learned in studying over 50 winning emails and DM here.
The Most Important Thing in Writing Anything Cold
The most important thing in writing a cold email is not personalizing it, as most people would tell you. It’s not even keeping your message short and straight to the point. It’s not not being salesy in your message. It’s not using simple grammars and blah blah blah.
All these are valid points, but there’s something much more important that can drive your emails home.
The most important thing in writing anything cold, whether emails or DMs is to be polite with your message.
To be polite in the introduction, body, and most importantly, in the close.
Writing short and straight to the point is part of being polite, but it’s not all of it. To be polite, you have to be polite.
Meaning, you have to let your reader know in black and white that you are polite.
Here’s what I mean.
How to Be Polite With Your Emails
#1 Call out your own cold email
Nobody likes anything cold. Calls, emails, DMs. The only commodity almost everyone likes cold is probably bear.
Calling out your own cold email is a psychological move that seduces your readers to let down their guard. It’s like you pouring a bear on someone’s shoe and immediately saying you’re deeply sorry.
It won’t matter whether you did it intentionally or not. Saying sorry puts a smiley on the situation.
This email starts off acknowledging that the email is cold.
It’s being polite. And it can increase trust, believability, and response.
#2 Respect Peoples Time
And let them know you respect their time.
I’m not talking about making your emails one line as a way of respecting people’s time.
Even a zero-line email could be frowned at.
Here’s how Jason puts it in his $100 M/year DM
Now, I know your time is valuable. You’re a consultant. I don’t want you to feel like I’m trying to grab time from you
I’ll joyfully read a full-page email that acknowledges my time than a one-liner that keeps mute.
Let’s say you made your email just three sentences as a way of respecting your reader’s time. Make a fourth sentence that says something like:
“I know you’re insanely busy, that’s why I’ve kept this email to the bone.”
That’s respect, and that’s being polite.
#3 Give people an opt-out
Ever since I started giving people an opt-out, my response rate has more than tripled.
If you’re going to make any changes to the way you write your emails, it should be this.
You see, people love to act willingly in their own comfort zone. Giving them an opt-out psychologically removes any pressure on them to act.
And you know what?
They’d act. I realized they would even go beyond their comfort zone if you genuinely give them an opt-out.
Close your emails like these:
- If you’re too busy, don’t feel obligated to reply.
- I understand that this may not be a fit for you at the moment, feel free to say no.
- If this doesn’t make sense to you, please feel free to pass it on.
Want to Double Your Email Response Rate? Go try these Techniques.
I’m not an email superstar, but I’ve never been happier since using these simple techniques in my emails.
What you should always try to remember is that the people you write to are humans like you. Being polite is a signal that triggers kindness, love, and positive response in us.
Why not in your emails?