At its best, email is inexpensive and convenient.
At its worst, email can be overwhelming and inefficient.
Are you frustrated when people don’t reply to your emails? Does it take two or three or more rounds of email to communicate simple messages? Are people even opening your emails?
This article shares effective strategies to keep you from losing your mind when playing the email game. Tweet This
My latest book titled, Work Hacks: 300+ Cool Ideas to SPEED Career Success features a piece on how to compose the perfect email. Here’s an excerpt from the book, which is available at www.MichaelAngeloCaruso.com and on Amazon.
How to compose the perfect email
1 Make the “subject line” specific.
Avoid using vague phrases like “Hi, Mike” in the subject line. Don’t type “Meeting Update” when you need to convey, “Tuesday’s Meeting is Canceled.” If the message is time sensitive, write “Please reply by Friday, October 10.” Adjust existing subject lines to reflect shifts in message content. Using all capital letters in the subject line or the body of the email is considered “shouting.” Shouting is rude in emails and in person.
2 An organized mailbox is a happy mailbox.
Consider saving copies of certain emails in files or folders labeled “House Purchase” or “Surgery.” When replying to a long message, delete the parts of the original missive that aren’t applicable. Cluster the minutes you spend on email. Check email only three or four times a day. Reply in batches to avoid a stop-start work rhythm.
3 Review important messages before sending.
Save critical messages as drafts so you can think about them before sending. Give yourself at least an hour to improve and approve your verbiage. Then, carefully proofread the document to make sure you’re using the exact words necessary. Reading aloud is a great proofreading technique. Don’t forget to run a spelling and grammar check. Remember that the best type of writing is re-writing.
4 Use a fantastic signature file.
Your email signature file should include all your interesting contact information. Provide telephone area codes, complete URL addresses (with “http://www.”) or hyperlinks so that recipients can point, click, and connect. Make it fun by including your astrological sign, info about your favorite charity, an award that you’ve just won or a recent news item about your company.
5 Email is a one-way form of communication.
Email is convenient, but it’s a one-way form of messaging. If you send a message and a few days pass with no response, resend the message with this additional note: “I’m not sure my email is working properly. Did you receive my message three days ago?” You might also add the words “second request” to the original subject line. If you still don’t receive a reply, call the person or go visit.
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