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6 Feb 2012

Technique: Power of Names in Emails

People’s names are extremely powerful. Every day, opportunities to use names present themselves, but we don’t seize them. Names in emails, even the shortest ones, allow us to personify them, giving them personality. Just as people find pictures and news articles about people more interesting, the same holds true for emails.

For example, rather than send an email like this:

Can you meet me today at noon?

We can personify it this way:

Joan,

Can you meet me today at noon?

Linda

Thus, a generic email from by anybody to anybody becomes personal. Moreover, rather than use a formal address and closing, we can alter it by writing:

  • Joan, can you meet me today at noon? ~Linda
  • Can you meet me today at noon, Joan? ~Linda
  • Can you, Joan, meet me today at noon? ~Linda

In these examples, we used the person’s name in the beginning, end and middle of the question. We can employ the same strategy longer emails:

I’m thinking about going out for lunch today. Can you meet me today, Joan, if I do? It would be great to see you.

Linda

We can also use their names more than once by combining the techniques above:

Joan,

I’m thinking about going out for lunch today. Can you meet me today, if I do? It would be great to see you.

I want to share a project I’m working. Joan, I really feel you might be able to help. If so, I’d like to introduce you to my manager.

Please let me know,

Linda

People aren’t light switches, so we can’t expect this to work instantaneously. Nevertheless, if we employ regularly and integrate with other techniques, we will accelerate better relationships and responses to requests over the long run.

 

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