Email remains to be the most common form of written communication in the modern workplace - too common to be easily abused. Most of us complain about receiving too many emails in a day: most of them are long, dragging emails that could have been simpler or more straightforward, or with titles that could have made more sense.
But what if your emails are one of them? How do you get people to open and read your emails? Read our tips to write clear and concise emails that are worthy of every one’s attention:
1. THE SUBJECT. Avoid vague, one-word email titles like ‘Notes from Project No. 2 Meeting.’ Describe the topic in five words or less: Final Workflow on Project #2. You and your team may devise codenames to keep things shorter (P2: Final Workflow) but the key is to make it short, simple and easy to understand.
2. THE TONE. Write like you speak. Be more casual and conversational in your emails. Adapting this tone will not only help your emails sound more friendly and approachable, it will also be shorter and more readable.
3. THE PLEASANTRIES. This should come naturally after your greeting (Hello, Hi or Dear). Email pleasantries such as saying thanks or acknowledging one’s efforts go a long way after a tiring day. For requests, always say ‘please’. For a job well done, go for an exclamation point: ‘Great job!’
4. THE ISSUE. Rather than addressing several issues, each email should address one to two issues only. If you have several issues or requests in a single email, go for short bullet points. Remember: each issue should be clear and straightforward. Be specific: Always indicate who should do which task, and when should each task be accomplished.
5. THE CLOSING LINE. Don’t sign off just yet! A good closing line serves two purposes: to restate the issue and to make your recipient feel good. “I appreciate your help with this.” “Let me know what you think about this.” It’s a reminder that you’re expecting a response out of the issues you have stated.
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