The Art of Writing an Effective Email
The art of writing letters is century’s old, follows all sorts of well-formed etiquette and in a way is an art. Then about a decade or so ago, email arrived.
Writing emails is easy to do badly and hard to do well and unfortunately in this day and age of mobile working can be the only thing a business is judged on. So, how do you get it right and impress with your emails – here are some tips.
Predictive text is ironically one of those unpredictable things and it’s only when you look down after sending you see where the mistake lies. In one instance, we heard of a story where a lady who works for a large UK charity, replying to an email from a smaller educational charity asking for support with ‘Sorry, we’re only focusing on the bigger charities at the moment’. However, it turned out that the ‘b’ in ‘bigger’ had been replaced with an ‘n’ by the morally devoid predictive text on her phone.
Setting up signatures on mobile devices to inform people you are emailing from a mobile device and to apologise for brevity and mistakes is a good idea.
Effective Email – Use Acronyms
By having a set, defined list of acronyms within a business you can save a lot of time. Ensuring they are defined matters as this ensures no duality of meaning. For instance RR can be used for response required, or adding ‘LONG’ in the subject line may warn people they will have to take time to read through it. Don’t end up like David Cameron and Rebecca Brookes and the LOL fiasco.
The email signature can save a lot of time, however if you’ve added a number of logos, graphics and other items; it may cause all sorts of issues in specific browsers. Keep it simple as you would on paper and just use text.
Effective Emails – Keep it Short
Nobody wants a life story via email, so keep them short, concise and to the point. Use bullets if necessary as these help to keep things on track. Brevity aids speed and also it is often easier to find the point.
Also one thing that bugs people are long streams of replies under the same heading. This can make it very hard to find details and info in the future in past emails. Change the header if the subject or topic of conversation changes.
They say you should use the right tool for the job and in a lot of cases why would you use a jack hammer, where a wrench will do. The same is true for email; only use it when it is necessary. There are a number of options nowadays that are faster, easier and more suited than email – so use them.
File Sharing is better
Large files can be sent by email, though this is best avoided as they slow things down and are still a pain to download on mobile devices. Use DropBox, Google Drive or Box to share files – it’s easier and quicker.
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