Communicate to Win: 016 – 10 Email Tips

I obviously have a passion for improving all communication. I have worked with so many extremely talented and gifted individuals who made small mistakes in email and voice mail, and really hurt their credibility.

You won’t be able to gain respect by creating and delivering amazing presentations if your daily communications don’t match your high-caliber special communications. I want you to be highly respected, so you can launch innovative ideas that create instant impact and immediate results. You earn that respect via all of your interactions.

Here are my top 10 email tips for composing strong and memorable messages…

1. Use only one topic per email message.

2. Put a topic in subject line:

  • To-Do
  • Urgent
  • Help
  • FYI
  • Leisure

This way, your reader knows if he or she needs to take immedate action or if something is not urgent and could be read at a later time.

3. Only copy people who are interested in and affected by your message. Be sure to use reply to all very carefully.

4. Make sure your reader knows what follow-up action to take in response to your message.

5. Quote or include previous messages to provide context if necessary.

6. Break your email into manageable sections and check it carefully.

  • Use short paragraphs. Many people find it a lot harder to read content on a computer screen than on paper.
  • Limit your message to one screen. Scrollbars make it difficult to visually track content.
  • Be sure to allow for adequate white space on the page.
  • Run spelling and grammar check.

7. Use a salutation in a formal email, such as “Dear Ms. Jones.”

  • Omitting “Dear” is okay for informal messages.
  • Omitting “Ms. Jones” may make the message confusing if there are several CC’ed recipients.

8. Don’t use elaborate formatting unless you know recipient’s email system can accept it.

9. Don’t use emoticons : – )

10. Don’t mark every message as “Urgent.” If everything is urgent, then nothing is urgent! Remember the boy who cried wolf?

So far in the Communicate to Win series, I offered a myriad of guidelines to help you take your game ot the next level. Ask yourself, what could I implement tomorrow that would not only make me more effective, but also help those around me to be more effective? It may be as simple as taking one of these tip lists to a meeting and suggesting the set of rules to improve voicemail and email communications. That’s a quick hit! These tip lists are chock full of great ideas that you can help implement in any workplace. I want to set you up for success, so you are well-positioned to make the next big presentation AND have your ideas heard.



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