I always laugh when people write blog posts about the best times to send emails. Should we send the email at 10:04am or 10:37am? Should we send the email on Tuesday or Thursday.

These questions are debated in boardrooms and marketing meetings everywhere, instead of first asking “do we have anything useful to say in the first place?

I’ve talked about this before. Funny site note, when I wrote this post about “MarketingInertia.com,” I received emails from people saying they couldn’t access the site. You can’t make this stuff up.

Regardless, emails are sent. Open and click-through rates are terrible. Response rates are non-existent.

Here are six reasons your business emails stink. (p.s. these are especially important for entrepreneurs & solo-professionals)

1) They don’t use “real people” language. Organizations and businesses love to try to impress readers. They use corporate-talk instead of human-talk. Write the way people talk. Use clear and concise language.

2) No story. People love stories. Stories are what capture attention and resonate with readers. Stories are like that sticky tape that’s used to catch flies. You hang them out there and people can’t help but get sucked in.

3) They aren’t contrarian enough. Emails that are status quo are boring. “Kids Eat Free on Wednesday!” Who cares! You want your emails to do one of two things. You either want the reader nodding her head in unison with you with you as she reads. Or, you want her slamming her laptop shut in a fit of rage. Both are better than a quick skim and a less-than-memorable email.

4) Too verbose. Say less.

5) No call to action. Tell them what to do next. Buy This. Click This Link. Order This. Bring In This Voucher Today. People are too concerned about including a call to action because people might unsubscribe. Stop it. Reframe unsubscribes. Unsubscribes should be welcomed. You’re far better off having 100 buyers than a thousand subscribers who do nothing.

6) Character. Character is one of my Three Cs of an Evergreen business. Read more about this here, here, and here. People don’t inject enough personality into their communications with customers. They’re afraid to reveal who they really are. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, the largest online retailer in the world, can inject his character into his communications with customers, you have no excuse.