Did You Read My Email?


If you’ve ever said or sent that question, you need these email tips.

What’s the matter with emails? We read (and write) them when we’re sitting at our desks, moving between meetings (or sometimes even during meetings), hopping on the subway, standing in line for lunch, watching Netflix or even rolling out of bed. We’re always communicating.

It’s hard to change habits with something we do so frequently, such as email.

Because of the sheer volume of emails you send, engaging in these 5 tips will make your message more effective:

1. BLUF. That’s right – get that bottom line up front. Don’t start with a long preamble. Instead, cut to the chase. Then elaborate. Think like a journalist – don’t bury the lead.

2. Share personality in your email. Add a touch of casual, so that when people read it, they feel like they are talking to you. Most people don’t do it, but it gets great results (especially if people like you). ;) Make them want to keep reading.

3. Apply the SHARPs principles. Emotion goes a long way in emails. Think of all the time you spend dealing with your inbox either at your desk or on your phone. Isn’t it better when you can smile, laugh or chuckle? That’s the reason for the growing popularity of GIFs. Don’t save the SHARP for in-person if it can be included in your email. As an example, our chairman uses a quote in his email signature, and he changes it regularly.

4. Use the subject line to get their attention. If you’re thinking “duh,” I challenge you: Do you include due dates in your subject line? Action required? Do you change the subject line when the email thread veers into another direction? Keep it brief and to the point.

5. Check for Typos. If your email screams out, “Don’t shivagit,” chances are, your reader won’t either. Remember the airplane tray? Your email is an extension of you and your brand.

We always remind people that communicating, presenting and public speaking happen dozens of times throughout the day. How many dozens of emails do you send?

Try these tips this week.

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