How To Make Your Emails More Effective
Emails are the most Frequent Form of Communication, but often the least effective. Here’s how to make your emails more effective
Estimates are that 269 billion emails are sent every day worldwide, many by professionals in a working environment. While you may know proper email etiquette, follow these tips to make sure your business emails aren’t deleted.
- Use a concise, compelling subject line. “More information” and “new program” only ask the recipient to say “about what?” Better to say “Action Items On Project XYZ.” Say “urgent” if necessary.
- Don’t use long lists of email addresses if the subject only pertains to some of them. Type the relevant addresses into the address line (“To” line) and use the BCC line for the others.
- Keep your message to the point. Say why you’re writing within the first two lines and try to limit yourself to one topic. Using bullet points helps you organize your thoughts. Re-read or print your email out (if you have time) before you send it.
- Be careful with humor and irony. Emails aren’t good at conveying emotions, and humor, inside jokes or over-used phrases don’t build a dynamic business relationship. Avoid phrases like “can I pick your brain” (what are you offering in return?); or “please advise” (better to say “can we discuss this further?”).
- Respect confidentiality. Should everyone read this?
- As a recipient, do not “reply all” unless everyone needs to know. You know this but people still do it, sometimes accidentally.
- Respond promptly. Don’t leave people hanging. Include your signature and phone number for follow-up.