eMail Communication-Short, Sweet and to the Point by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
I am always interested in learning new and effective ways to do things. I recently listened to a webinar that one of my alliance partners participated in and learned that our emails for the most part are too long. He recommended that writing our email messages between three to five sentences only.
I took a few minutes to review the emails that I sent in the past week. Only a very small percentage of them are fives sentences or less. What about you? How long are your emails?
I am going to review all my emails in the future and keep to fives sentences or less, whenever possible. He also suggested we include hyperlinks and postscripts if we have more information to share.
From my own experience I have also learned to only make one request in an email. In the past I have sent an email requesting two or three pieces of information and I usually only get the first request. Then there is a lot of back and forth emails following up, creating a lot of unnecessary activity. I can see now if I had kept to the five sentences or less rule I would have only included one request per email. It will also make any follow up and communication trail easier to follow.
Here are nine tips to remember when writing emails:
1. What is the purpose of the email?
Do you want to share information, ask a question or do you want the recipient to take a specific action? The clearer your message and intent is the better the chances are of getting the result
2. Get to the point quickly.
Follow the above recommendation and keep the email under fives sentences. Use simple language the most people understand. Write like you talk, use a conversational tone.
3. If you want the recipient to take action, be clear on expectations
Be sure to clearly outline the benefits to the recipient for taking the action you are requesting. Structure your email from their perspective.
4. Just the facts, Just the facts
Often people include unnecessary details in their emails. Only include the information that is pertinent. Think about what you would only include if you were texting someone.
5. Only give genuine compliments
If you are giving someone a compliment or an acknowledgement, By rambling on and on too much it can be read as inauthentic.
6. Be Personable and Friendly
Your email should include the persons name and depending on your relationship with the recipient you can include a friendly comment.
7. All Links are working
If you are including any links, make sure they are functioning.
Include a signature, with name of company, contact information and website addresses for professional emails. This is particularly important for first time contact. Once you have started communication with someone your full signature is not necessary as long as it can be found in the email trail.
9. Easy to read
The font and formatting make a big difference in how you will be perceived. Use bolding and italics sparingly to only emphasis important points. Be sure to use standard colours as different monitors could display odd colours differently.