Secrets of my inbox

Last summer, Ben Kaplan posted an interview with me about how PR folks can get my attention. I’ve been pointing people to this interview time and again, because it is a helpful summary of how my day really works.

Here’s the start of the transcript. Read the whole thing, or give it a listen, on PRHacker.com.

BEN KAPLAN:
First of all, what is your average morning like? Are you going right to your email inbox? What does it look like when you get these pitches?
DYLAN TWENEY:
Usually, I wake up and after getting a cup of coffee at home, the first thing I’m doing is checking what’s happening on my website and out there in the news media. Also, I’m very quickly looking at my inbox, which on a typical morning has hundreds and hundreds of unread messages, stuff that came in overnight. If I see a lot of things that were sent at midnight, I delete them immediately because it’s a very suspicious time. Lots of spam comes at midnight, right?
BEN KAPLAN:
That’s a good tip to know.
DYLAN TWENEY:
I usually have a lot of stuff leftover from the day before that I couldn’t get to, as well as a lot of new stuff from that morning, so I’ll go through that while I drink my coffee. I’ll be reading email on the train on the way in to work. At work, I’ll be doing email and talking to people on my team. A really, really large proportion of my day is spent in Gmail, responding both to people internally but also to a lot of people outside the company who want coverage.
BEN KAPLAN:
What is the average time that you give each pitch? Let’s say it’s a cold email. You don’t know the person. It’s just an average email that ends up in your inbox. Are you just reading the subject line? Are you clicking on it and giving it a three-second look over? Are you actually skimming the whole thing? What’s your process to deal with 150 emails?
DYLAN TWENEY:
The average is really hard to say because there’s a good proportion of messages that I don’t recognize the sender and what I see of the subject line is not interesting. I just delete these messages straight off. You have, basically, your subject line. If I don’t know you or I don’t know your name, you have the subject line to get my attention. And it better be the left half of the subject line, too.
BEN KAPLAN:
So you’re saying about five words? If you’re talking about the left half of the subject line, that’s about five words to get you to read the rest of it?
DYLAN TWENEY:
No, no, no, it’s probably like the left ten words or so. It’s 50 characters.
BEN KAPLAN:
Whatever would appear in Gmail?
DYLAN TWENEY:
In Gmail, that’s right, yeah.

Read the rest: SECRETS OF MY INBOX: VENTUREBEAT’S DYLAN TWENEY


Originally published at dylan tweney.