Skimbox’s approach to solving email overload--one part separation of critical and lesser emails, one part swipe-base management--is very effective. But, maybe you have a different concern when it comes to email.  Maybe you want to make sure that your email lands in someone’s mainbox! As a recruiter, I share that need. Here’s what I’ve found works best.

1. Make it personal

I get a ton of email traffic from external vendors, offering to solve all my problems. [1]  It’s tempting to discount them part and parcel, but in the true fashion of networking, you just never know when you may need to reach out or who may be connected to whom.  My response metrics are: how targeted and how useful is this email? If the unsolicited email is tailored to me and my needs, I’ll want to respond.  If it’s a template that is meant to reach and appeal to every person in the sender’s extended networks, most of the time, I’ll disregard it.  

Templates -- honestly, they’re the number one contributor to no response. I get that you are busy and need to get information out to large number of people.  You have numbers to meet and meetings to set!  But if you don’t put in the effort to personalize some of your email even just a little, then don’t expect much back.  At the very, very least, personalize your salutation.

2. Do your research

But research takes so much time, you say? Well, yes, but here’s another basic axiom to keep in mind:  quality over quantity.  It’s been my secret weapon for years!

A big part of my job involves reaching out to many programmers who are getting unsolicited email from literally hundreds of recruiters.  That’s tough competition, right?  Also, because I’m supporting small teams, I am targeting a very specific type of profile and don’t have the luxury of large pools of potential qualified talent.  When I find potential fits for the team, as in this case, I take the time to read their blogs and check out any other links that are available.  On one programmer’s blog, tucked in between many technical posts was a short post about a new diet he had tried and tracked the results. On another’s were very clear instructions to recruiters not to contact him during business hours. Bingo.

3. Get creative with your subject lines

My initial email to the first programmer included a subject line about trying the same diet. Result: I got a response within a couple of hours!  

In, my initial email to the second programmer, I included in the subject line that it was not to be opened during business hours.  Result: he opened, and responded to it during business hours that same day.

The approach of taking time to do research, getting creative with my subject lines and paying attention to clues in online profiles has helped me connect with awesome talent!  I also “just say no” to templates. Got any tips to share on how you get your emails to land in the right box and get a response?  Share with us, we love to hear from you!

1. Except the one about how to stop getting emails from too many vendors.