BY SAMANTHA BROWN
Right from when you are in college you need to understand the fact that from here on wards, communication is very crucial for your success at every stage. Mastering the art of efficient communications with prospective professors you want to research or intern under, can get you your dream project seamlessly. While email campaigns for college projects are very under-rated these days, it is an extremely powerful tool.
Are you all set to create an impression with your e-mails? Here is a list of some tried and tested tips to help you grab the attention of the mail recipient.
- Be specific and interesting in the subject line
As stands true for email marketing in any industry, the subject line is the most important part of your email. It’s the subject line that would ensure whether your recipient considers the mail to be important enough to open and read, or to think of it as useless trash and ignore. Keep the subject line crisp, specific and intriguing, and keep it as short as possible.
- Steer clear of unnecessary addressing in the beginning
While it is a common norm we follow while e-mailing, but in this case, until and unless you are veteran emailer, you should avoid coming on too strong and personal with an address like “Dear”. A mail that begins with something like this at times turns off certain professors, giving them an impression that you are getting too clingy or too informal too soon. So, it’s advised not to take a chance, and start your mail with simply your professor’s name, preceded by their title.
- Spell out the name correctly and use clear fonts
A spelling mistake or typing error for your professor’s name can finish the game for you in the very beginning. A sharp and clear font with the correct name, indented correctly in the mail, sends forth a textual respect to the professors, and gives them the feeling that your are genuinely fond of them and have made a conscious effort to write them the mail.
- Maintain a balance between relationship and bottom-line
Although you are not advised to write stories or get all dramatic in your mail, but it is also important to try and build a relationship with the professor through the mail, strike an emotional chord in them and express your fondness towards them and their work. Maintaining a fine balance between the two is very important. You can’t just rudely get straight to the point saying “I wish to intern”, as it would paint no picture in the head of the reader and he wouldn’t think twice before deleting the mail. Also, nobody would have the patience to read an entire essay about you or your feelings towards him. So begin with a little interpersonal line like asking them about their day, share a little background about yourself, tell them a little about your fondness towards their work and then move on with your prime agenda.
- Be grammatically correct
Grammatical errors across your mail can puncture your impression severely and would portray a callous approach towards the mail. So make sure you proofread your mail well before hitting the send button. If required, get it proofread by a friend or family member for their feedback.
- Sign off your mail in an appropriate way
Just like the first impression is very important, so is the last. You should leave your professor with an intriguing thought or impression that lingers in their mind for a while, so as to make them consider your proposal. A mail with a killer start but a very lifeless and bland ending is of no use, as by the time they finish reading, they might lose interest in you. Think of an interesting and non-desperate way to finish off your mail, before you sign off with your full name.
- Attach your documents carefully
This is a very important part of creating the mail. First of all, mention all your attachments clearly in the mail. It is advised to mention the enclosed documents separately in a list format. It will help them to get what they seek easily. Also, do not forget to attach any of the documents mentioned in the mail. It again shows carelessness, and it’s not an impression you want your professor to have about you.
While these are the tips related to your email content, some other factors to keep in mind for such campaigns are:
- Learn to be resilient
Patience and resilience are the two keywords here. If a mail goes unanswered, you can’t afford to get distressed or lose hope. Remember, the professors are extremely busy professionals, and they get such mails from prospective students in bulk. So you have to give them time and keep trying your best.
- The time of the email plays a role
The time at which the email is sent out plays a more crucial role than you can imagine. For example, if you think that on weekends you’ll get enough time to curate the perfect mail and send out, it might not be a very good idea, as your professor might be a person who does not attend to work mails over weekends, and your mail might just get lost amid the many others. So, analyze the person you are reaching out to bit before sending the mail out, to have an idea about the best time.
Samantha Brown is a freelance writer who specializes on carrier guidance, she is also motivational speaker and author