Invitations Matter: Right Shari? Jen? Mary? Kim? Deborah?


I dabble on Twitter. I log in every once in awhile. I post, favorite and retweet infrequently. Months ago I finally accepted that the 140-character tweets just weren’t quite my size, though I admire the folks who tweet artfully. So I’d never been part of a Twitter chat–at least until this fall. Why? Because someone reached out and specifically invited me.

It’s rare to find someone who doesn’t have to skim their email to keep up with it all. A few years ago I needed to send out information to a zone of three schools. I experimented with sending a message to the first staff as a whole-group email, small-group emails to grade-level teams to the second school and individual emails to the third school that began with their first names.

What did I discover? My hypothesis was correct. I heard back from the majority of the staff at the third school, half the teams at the second school and three individuals who had received the group email. So it takes more time, but as often as possible if I want folks to respond to a survey I created or give me feedback on dates or see an update, I try to send emails to individuals vs. larger groups. As we skim, we want to know that emails are meant for us in particular. Anything that starts, “Hi Heather,” is going to get my attention more than “You are receiving this email because…” That individual touch as invitation matters.


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