Too much info or too little?
Yesterday, I got two emails from two completely different organizations. Both had too little information but one was paragraphs long and the other not even a sentence.
Let me discuss the longer one first. It was an email from an organization that is folding. They email was an invitation to a farewell dinner. It included all the necessary event information (date, place, time) but left out one crucial piece of information: why the event was necessary in the first place. Why are they closing shop? Mystery has its place, but not in this type of email. Just come out and say it! I am not sure if the group is finished because of poor attendance, lack of leadership or orders from above.
The second email was even more of a head-scratcher. It came from an organization I was not familiar with, and had the following subject line: “Focus on your business-not your database.” In the body of the email there was nothing but the organization’s email signature (not even a website address!). Nothing at all. Attached, is a brochure with what I presume is more information. There are at least three things wrong with this:
- The subject line makes assumptions: it assumes that it is bad to focus on your database or that I am focusing on it instead of my business (huh?).
- There is no context for the contact. Read my post “How to write a contact email.”
- In this day, smart people only open attachments from trusted sources. Since this source did not even bother to write a couple lines identifying itself and its business and its reason for contacting me, why should I bother opening the attachment?
You can provide too little information. In something like the first case I talk about, this may lead to a follow up from your contact. I know who the organization is but am lacking some information I am interested in knowing. In the second case, the lack of information makes me distrust the sender and want to delete the email.
The key is to provide ENOUGH INFORMATION for a person receiving your message to make a decision.