9 Effective Email Tips

Would you like to get your message across in email more quickly and make a better impression?  Here are my favorite email tips (click here for a pdf of the tips, suitable for framing):

  1. Use meaningful subject lines
  • Not, Subject: [Blank]
  • Not, Subject “Important! Read Immediately!!”
  • Not, Subject: “Quick Question”
  • Instead, Subject: “15 Confirmed for Friday . . .will we need a larger room?”
  • Consider: [Message in Subject Line] EOM     (agreed-upon convention for leaving the body of the email blank when the  subject line contains the message)

            Example: Updated Quicken EOM

 2. KISS—Keep it Short and Simple

  • Use to inform (what, when, where)
  • Get to the point!
  • 5 or fewer sentences, generally
  • Highlight important points in longer emails—no “wall-o-text”
  • One question per email (two at the very most)
  • Be clear on whether an action or reply is expected

3. Avoid attachments

Link whenever possible or put in the body of the email.

4. Identify yourself clearly—use a signature file

5. Don’t deal with sensitive issues over email and never assume privacy–Imagine your mom or your boss reading it.

6. Use a friendly “tone.” Don’t use sarcasm or all CAPS.

7. Re-read and check before sending (Spelling, grammar, clarity, appropriate tone—casual or formal?)

8. Respond within 24 business hours, at least with “I have to get back with you on this.”

9. Use email to follow up on conversations/meetings  for a common understanding

10. Other tips__________________________________________  (What would you write here?)


About Diane Windingland
I speak for organizations that want their people to have better, more profitable conversations.

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