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How to make your emails more effective

With our email boxes so full we can barely read what’s in there, it seems to me there must be a better way to email. So with saving time and encouraging people to act on your emails and respond more quickly, here’s some thoughts…

  • Keep the subject line short. As few words as possible and with a clear and punchy message. Have a look at your own email inbox and it becomes obvious which emails are not working for you and which you are more likely to open.
  • Avoid cc as much as possible. Your inbox can pile up with messages that you are copied in on – often for no apparent reason. I would suggest that it’s better to only cc when truly necessary and to send separate emails as much as possible as these are more likely to elicit a response.
  • One email, one idea. If you pack loads of ‘to do’ requests into your email body copy, chances are something won’t get done. Keep each email to one – or at most two – requests for something you need or want sent or done.
  • Keep it short. Short is good and easier to understand. Your recipient will lose interest if they can’t grab what you need in the first couple of sentences. Three sentence at most, is ideal.
  • Avoid an email trail. It is so frustrating when you receive an email and you have to track back through miles of sent and received versions tacked on he bottom to find out what is going on. In my opinion, avoid forwarding long lists and just send a short email, with short instructions.
  • Use a sign-off image of yourself. A small picture of yourself in your sign off makes the message seem more human and makes it easier to connect with people.have been slow to adapt and insist on making each missive into a production on which they will be heavily judged, and on judging one another accordingly.
  • Avoid writing anything overly negative in an email – it’s not the place. People keep emails, mull over them and ponder them. If you have something negative to say, pick up the phone or arrange to meet in person because it is likely to be more effective and you can mitigate a difficult conversation with positive personal interaction.