Making Emails More Effective
Make Emails More Effective
How to make your emails more relevant and effective
1. Email is not the best way to communicate with others.
The sheer number of emails received at work is one of the main sources of stress. Before you start writing an email, think about whether it is really necessary. You should also use IM or the phone to address any questions that may need to be discussed.
Email isn’t as secure as you think it should be. People may forward emails and not realise they need to delete their conversation history. Avoid sharing personal or sensitive information in emails and avoid writing about things you don’t want to be seen on billboards by your office.
2. Make good use of subject lines
The newspaper headline serves two purposes: it grabs attention and summarises the article so you can decide if you want to read it. Your email subject should accomplish the same. Unrelated subject lines are more likely to be ignored or rejected as spam. Use a few carefully chosen words to explain the message to the recipient. If your message is part of a regular series, such as a weekly report on a project, you might want to include the date within the subject line.
3. Keep your messages short and clear
Emails should be as clear and concise as traditional business letters. Keep your sentences concise and to-the-point. Your email body should be concise and informative. It should include all relevant information. For help in communicating clearly and effectively, see our article on writing skills.
4. List Your Main Points
After you have created a strong subject and selected a great email opening and salutation, it’s time to get to the point quickly. Stay concise. Use a list if you have more than one point. This will make it easier for your reader to scan the information.
5. Explain Benefits in Your Email
Many business professionals aren’t aware of the differences between benefits and features. The features of your product are what they do. A benefit describes how a feature benefits your reader.
Do not assume your email reader knows why something is important. Your email should explain how the reader will benefit.
6. Write to Your Audience
This was already mentioned. Make sure you tailor your email to the reader. You should use the language and tone they will relate to. Avoid using unfamiliar terms that are less familiar to your readers. They are more likely to alienate and irritate them than to impress. Avoid using abbreviations that are not common.
It costs less to send multiple emails than to send one traditional letter. If you have to communicate with someone on a variety of topics, it is worth writing separate emails for each. This will make your message more clear and allows your correspondent to respond to only one topic.