Getting people to at least open your e-mails has become like leading the proverbial horse to water. You can send the e-mail to the horse. The horse might even be really thirsty and expecting your trough of refreshments, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll drink, er open up the e-mail.
By now, most e-mail readers ignore “Read Request” notifications. Ditto marking an e-mail “High Priority.” So, what’s left?
Like leaving a detailed voice mail message, you can do the same with the subject line of your e-mail. Be as specific as possible with your subject line so the recipient knows why you’re writing. A colleague of mine has even taken to writing “ALERT” and other short descriptive phrases in caps at the beginning of the subject line to get people to read important e-mails. It may sound a bit hokey, and read that way, too, but it can work. And if the bottom line is to get them to read the e-mail, does it really matter? Not a lick.