Monday, September 14, 2015

Why People Don't Like Your E-mails

Writing emails during a workday is about as common as breathing. We often do it without thinking, firing off a missive and hitting "send" as quickly as possible so we can get onto the next email.

The problem is that our emails often cause more problems than they solve. If they're not clear and concise, you can pretty much guarantee a)it's going to require five more emails to help the receiver understand what you want; b) the receiver will ignore the message because it's so confusing; c) the wrong information will be sent by the receiver because he or she is just taking a guess at what you need.

If you would like to eliminate the time you spend on emails, then the solution starts with you. You have to take responsibility for sending clearer messages that will eliminate confusion and inefficiency.

Here are some ways you can start sending better emails today:

1. Remember that it's not a kitchen sink. Don't include lots of diverse information in one email, or request information on several different subjects. It's better to have one clear path in your email. Your subject line should be specific, and so should your email message.
2. Tell them why they should care. Always let your receivers know as soon as possible why they should care about the message. (If you can't provide the reason, maybe you shouldn't be sending the message, hmmm?) Once you clearly outline how it affects them, they're much more likely to read the message and take required action.
3. Use the inverted pyramid. Begin with the most important information first, with the thought that many readers will quit before the end. The least important information should be at the bottom in any email. This will help ensure that your reader absorbs the critical information first.
4. Edit, edit, edit. Never send an email that you haven't proofed. Look for ways you can shorten sentences, make requests clearer and cut unnecessary jargon.

What are some other ways to send better emails?

No comments: