Email is fuuuuun…
Said no one ever.
Send enough emails, write enough typos, and CC enough people and that inbox of yours can turn into the monster of your nightmares’ nightmares. However, with the right tweaking in the right places, you can write better, more effective emails. And ultimately, these emails will help you create a more manageable inbox.
Here are simple 8 tips to get you started.
People like to skim emails. Actually, people like to skim any written content in general. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to make the most important information as visible as possible. In other words, bold, highlight, or adjust the font size or color of whatever it is you need out of an email.
Emails were not designed to be novels or impromptu blog posts. Instead, emails are meant to be a simple and quick way to communicate. As soon as you see yourself breaching the 200-word mark, you might want to reconsider the email altogether. At this point, it could be time to pick up that phone.
Mini, one-sentence paragraphs are always welcome inside an email. Why? Because it makes the content appear like it’s easier to read. Keep your paragraphs short and your sentences clean, and your email might actually get some attention.
Unless you like opening up the floodgates of that almighty inbox, then you should probably steer clear of the dreaded CC unless absolutely necessary. If you’re only CC-ing people to “keep people in the loop” or “to cover all your bases”, then it might not be worth it. You’ll just receive a handful of responses littered with questions, remarks, and advice you never asked for.
An email with no deadline attached to it is basically an email with no reason for existing. If you send out an email that does something like request a document or ask for approval on a project, then there must be a follow-up date inside it somewhere. Without this date, you could wait days or even weeks before you receive a response. And you only have yourself to blame for that.
Please. Whatever you do, don’t forget to read your email over at least once before you send it. Check for spelling errors, misplaced commas, and overlooked apostrophes. And always, always, confirm that any attachments referenced within the email are actually attached to the email.
A subject line can become someone’s Hail Mary in a long, desperate search for a lost email. Make these bad boys specific enough, and you’ll always be able to find that one email, from that person, about that one thing. But on top of that, people don’t like to be misled or confused by subject lines. In other words, an email that lists the budget for the upcoming year shouldn’t have a subject line that reads, “Hey.” A “hey” doesn’t explain to anyone what the email is about.
If your call-to-action is buried within the middle of the fourth paragraph and attached to a compound-complex sentence, odds are this little guy isn’t going to be so obvious. It’ll be misread, misunderstood, or missed altogether. Pull your call-to-action away from the other text and make sure it’s easy to read, understand, and see.