Did you know that more than 95% of commercial email is unread? I didn’t know it was so high. The strategies he mentions in this article below are things I have learned in my experience as well. You really have to show people why they will benefit from reading what you write.
Something else I have learned is not to give people more than the minimum amount of detail to understand something. I thought in the past that it would help give perspective or background on the issue if they knew some of its history. I was wrong. The feedback I received was that was considered the past and that those things no longer applied. People seem to prefer to make off the cuff decisions rather than considering the big picture.
Another important suggestion is that you should always ask for the kind of response you want. People don’t always understand what they should do, even if you state what is needed in the body of the email. So always at the end I ask for an action: a decision, piece of information, whatever. Then I suggest what I will do with that and ask if that seems reasonable. People like to know what you are going to do with their information or decision so don’t make them wonder. Tell them how what you are doing will benefit them.
How To Write E-mails Your Customers Will Actually Read.