Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Writing Effective Emails

Picture of effective email
Here are 7 simple rules to follow when writing an email:

1. Use a credible email address.
  • Someone may not open your email based on your email address, and make judgments about your credibility.
2. Write short emails.
  • Short, sweet, to the point! People like short things to read, not long lengthy paragraphs.  

  • Each new thought or idea should start a new paragraph.
3. Limit your email to a single subject.
  • Gives the recipient a chance to digest and respond to the subject before moving along to a new one.
4. Make clear requests.
  • Summarize at the end of the email, use bullet points, and state the action you would like the recipient to take.
5. Honor requests from others.
  • Don’t ignore a direct request in an email, it affects trustworthiness.
  • Acknowledge them, even if all you’re saying is, “I’ll get back to you on that” (provided that you do).
6. Acknowledge receipt of emails.
  • Let your sender know that you’ve gotten their email (maybe eve thank them for it), even if you aren’t able to respond to it right away.
  • People expect a response within 24 hours.
7. Don’t write for yourself, write for your reader.
  • Make use of text links to provide them with background information (this helps keep emails short).
  • Stay away from jargon, unless the reader knows the jargon.
  • Use inline or attached images sparingly.
  • Use emoticons sparingly.
  • Put yourself in the reader’s place: “What would I need to know in order to understand this?”

Finally, be nice and remember that everything you send over the internet might someday be made public!
Written by Emily Tiesenga
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