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Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but I have some reservations, 25 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Writing Great Emails is Not Art - 9 Ways to get there (Kindle Edition)
I get a lot of emails from people wanting me to review their books. I don't answer about half of them. Why? Mostly because I know I wouldn't be interested in their book, but sometimes because the email is not personal enough. Some just have the generic greeting "Hi." Others have taken the trouble to greet me by name. That helps. But what really will get me to answer the email (and maybe even take a look at their book) is if they are able to say something relevant about my reviews or something else I've written.

Be personal, and that is what Gisela Hausmann advises.

Okay, but how did she get me to answer her email? She greeted me with "Dear Dennis," but did not mention anything she'd read that I had written. Normally that would be a turn off. However her email was short and to the point, but even so I would not have responded except for the fact that I was curious about a 16-page book on how to write effective emails. In other words her "to the point" technique did not hurt her, but what sold me was the product itself--or rather the anticipation of it.

After reminding the reader how important email communication has become, Hausmann sensibly addresses each part of an email, subject line, greeting, body, and signature in turn. She gives do's and don'ts with examples. For example, she writes: "There is no faster way to say `I don't really care about you...' than misspelling a person's name." That is correct. Everybody has an intimate relationship with their name. Spell it right. That means double check. Always.

Her most important tip of the whole book is (in caps) "READ EMAILS OUT LOUD TO YOURSELF!" I put this in partly because I don't believe it's the most important tip in the book, although it's definitely a good idea, especially if the email is very important to you. I won't give what I think is the most important tip since I want to keep my review shorter than the book! I'll let the reader buy the book and find out. I will say I like her daughter's very clever take on why you should never use "sincerely" in closing.

Now, here are three places where my view is a little different than that of the very careful Gisela Hausmann:

First, I don't think that the slowness of opening snail mail made it more exciting. What made it more exciting relative to today's email is that it was much rarer.

Second, I don't necessarily open the anticipated "good stuff" in my emails first as Hausmann believes most people do. Usually I quickly get rid of the boring stuff and then open what I think will be interesting email. But then I don't have to wade through a hundred emails a day.

Third, I don't have the time to phone ahead first when emailing somebody I don't know and who doesn't know me. But this is definitely a good idea if the email you are going to send is very important to you. Problem: why should they answer the phone in the first place?

Hausmann opines that putting numbers in the subject line attracts the reader's attention. Never thought of that. Probably true. Her example of changing the subject line of an email from

"case Robert Smith, Pennsylvania Ave"

to

"Case# 123456 *case Robert Smith, Pennsylvania Ave"

does appear more eye-catching, but leaving in the superfluous second "case" looks careless.

All in all this is an easy to read little book with good information presented in an agreeable manner.

--Dennis Littrell, author of "The World Is Not as We Think It Is"
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