Email is the go-to method of communication in the workplace, trumping phone calls and face-to-face exchanges by a landslide. Texting is OK for quick correspondence or follow-up in certain circumstances, depending on the field you are in, but email reigns supreme, and we surely send (and receive) a lot of it.
But when we don't get a reply, anxiety sets in. Did the recipient get my email? And if they did, why haven't they responded? Did they even open it? Should I send a friendly reminder? But what if they don't get that one either, or don't open it yet again? The questions are common but can be avoided by knowing there is a better chance that your recipient will be inclined to open an email from you if you make some changes in your sending habits.
Here are 5 ways you can increase the likelihood that your email will be opened, read, and hopefully responded to. A few tweaks to your current emailing regime can make a major difference in your correspondence productiveness.
Keep the Subject Brief
Short and sweet is the name of the game when it comes to email subjects. Too short (as in a word or two) and it probably won't make sense, so aim for 6-10 words to craft a clear and concise subject line that is meaningful and to-the-point.
According to Entrepreneur, "People who regularly read email messages typically scan the subject line quickly, only seeing the first three to five words, especially if they're using a smartphone or tablet to check email. This means putting the most important part of your subject line at the beginning."
Start off strong and make your words count.
Timing is Everything
When you send can be as important as what your sending. If you are working tirelessly in the wee hours of the morning and send an email at 4am, your recipient may not even see it once it moves down their mailbox once all the rest of the morning's emails flow in.
Inc. notes, "Think about when your (recipient) is most likely to be in a frame of mind to be open to your (message)."
Additionally, if you send emails all the time to a particular recipient, they may overlook the truly important ones. Only email when absolutely necessary so they are not overloaded with emails from you, not knowing which to open first. Because they may become overwhelmed and not open any at all.
Along with a short subject line, you need to have a clear message. "Please advise on this topic," and "A few ideas for so and so," are not eye-catching or evidently urgent. Your recipient wants to have an idea of what the content of your email will be to entice them to open it.
As per Entrepreneur, "The better you can communicate your story in just a few words, the more likely your email will be opened."
Another tip, "Lead with a benefit," as B2B Marketing recommends. "It gives them an incentive to open your email."
Write a personalized and actionable subject line so the recipient sees a need to reply immediately or in a timely fashion upon getting the gist of what you're after.
Get the Recipient Curious
Once you lead in with a subject line that is clear and specific, leave the recipient longing for more by catering to their natural curiosity.
One way to spark interest is by asking a question in the subject line. According to B2B Marketing, "Questions are a great way to pique your reader's curiosity and inspire them to open your emails in search for more information."
And Entrepreneur adds, "People like inside information, secrets and exclusive information. Communicate those characteristics as appropriate. Funny works too!"
Make Sure They Know Who It's From
If your recipient doesn't know who an email is from, they may think it is spam/junk or unwanted marketing messaging. Be sure it is obvious that your email is from you and the recipient can see this immediately. And if you get a new email address, make note of this in your subject line.
Entrepreneur advises, "Send the email from you--your name--not an impersonal or vague email address."
WikiHow adds, "Use a professional email, as your email will show up alongside the subject line."
With so many emails filling everyone's inbox, weeding through them all is like a finding a needle in a haystack. Get your email seen and opened by following this advice. Just get ready to respond in the fashion you're seeking from others!
Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to grow in your current one, getting a certification can be a great way to improve your skills.
Anyone can put that they are proficient in a computer program on their resume but having a certificate can help you stand out amongst the competition and give credence to the strength of your skills.
But what's the best way to invest in yourself without breaking the bank? Some certification programs can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. We are going to walk through six of the best certifications you can get for $100 or less.
Who is it best for: Those who work with analyzing and presenting data.
Cost: $100 for Tableau Desktop Specialist; additional certifications are available for a larger fee.
More companies than ever see themselves as data companies. Being able to understand data and use it to guide decisions at your company is often critical to taking on a leadership role. Not to mention, being able to present the data in a clean, attractive, and compelling way can help get buy-in from others in your organization or clients. That's why Tableau is a great tool to have in your toolbox.
Tableau allows you to create interactive visual analytics dashboards. In layman's terms, you can take data; create graphs, maps, or charts; and then allow end-users to interact with these graphics to better understand the information. It's a fantastic tool allowing non-technical users to gain insights for data-driven decision-making.
Tableau Desktop Specialist certification starts at $100 and has no expiration date. There are many videos on Tableau's site to prepare for your exam as well as Tableau Starter Kits allowing you to play around and learn the different capabilities of the program. Tableau offers a 14-day free trial as well as free license for one year for students.
Additional certifications after Desktop Specialist are Desktop Associate and Desktop Professional. Those working with a Tableau server may also be interested in a separate certification as a Server Associate or Server Professional.
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When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.