A targeted email highlighting the publication of your new Cochrane Review, or a dissemination product you’ve created as a result of the review, is a good way to highlight it to individuals and organizations. This could be a relevant means of contacting a funder, charity, patient organization, journalist, or fellow researcher. A targeted email is a direct way of being in touch with someone, as you can’t always rely on them hearing about the review through other ways.
How to write a targeted email
It might sound simple, but writing a good email that is succinct and clear can be a challenge when you have a wealth of information to share. You will need to consider who you would like to share your review findings with. To do this, we recommend you use the dissemination brief to think through who your target stakeholders are and develop a list of who will be interested in this Cochrane review.If you need help completing the dissemination brief, contact Katie Abbotts email@example.com.
An important first step is to consider the subject line. Imagine you are the person receiving the email. What will get your recipient’s attention? What’s the one thing you’d like the recipient to do after receiving your email? Focus on getting to this point – quickly.
A good email should be no longer than a screenful. You should aim to:
Address the recipient directly
Consider the language and cultural context of who you are sending the email to
Say why the findings of the review would be of interest to this person/organization
Summarize the objective of the review (the question it asks) and - if possible, a short summary of the results (you can take this from the Plain Language Summary)
Include a link to the Review in the Cochrane Library, and any links to the translation of the review.
Highlight what you would like them to do with the information (a call to action)
Include details of how to contact you or your Cochrane Group with any questions
- Lastly, you will need to research the email addresses of contacts, if you don't have them. You can also make a quick phone call to ask who best to contact. The Cochrane Knowledge Translation team may be able to help research some of these contacts.
Top tip! Once you have a draft of your email, use the dissemination checklist to improve the draft.
Evaluating the effect of your targeted email
The best way to evaluate whether your emails have had an impact is to get a reply! In the absence of a formal reply, and if you are using an email service to send to a list of subscribers, you can use the analytics tool to tell you who opened the email.
Examples of targeted emails
A selection of examples of targeted emails is shared here, sent from the Cochrane UK Centre to UK based organizations.