Evolving email is a series about putting yourself in the inbox of the recipient and getting more value out of the time you spend on the task of writing email.

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It’s completely fine to send someone a link to a web page that you think they’ll like. My friends do it. My family does it. I do it.

When you send someone a link, it feels like you're doing them a favor.

Want  to really do them a favor? Show them that you respect their time. And don’t discount the chance that they’ll find the link totally worthless even though you may think it's the greatest thing ever.

Tell them briefly what the link is about (1-2 sentences max), maybe even include a little blockquote from the article. Don’t oversell it either.

If it’s a link to a video, tell them how long it is too.

Bad example:

OH MY GOD! You should totally watch this video!

Good example:

This is a funny video of a howler monkey attacking a bank robber. Run time is about 5 min.

How this helps the recipient

  • It tells them what the video is about so they can assess how important it is to them.
  • It tells them how long it will take to watch the video so they can do it when they have time.

How this helps you

  • Over time, you’ll get a little more credibility with the recipient because you’re showing them that you respect their time. By making them feel more important, they are more likely to help you when you need it.
  • They may begin showing you the same courtesy after learning by example.

Bottom line: telling someone what a link is about takes just a tiny droplet of your time. Anything you get in return for this investment will generate a healthy ROI.