Here are 7 tips to writing a good email:
- Include a meaningful subject line. This is great for orienting your reader and it makes it easier for them (or you) to search for later. Also, include an action phrase if necessary to help them prioritize your email (‘For Approval: 2015 Year End Budget’).
- Start your message with context. It takes effort to scroll through an email chain to figure out what happened – or what you’re supposed to do about it. Starting your message with enough context to orient your reader might create greater understanding and a faster response time.
- If you have to copy people, mark out why each person would care. This helps you figure out who really needs to get your message and what is being asked of them. This practice may encourage you to include fewer people (less is more).
- Never, ever, ever blind carbon copy. Just. No.
- Separate topics into separate emails. If you need to get answers from one person on three files, consider sending three emails so responses aren’t held up.
- Edit forwarded messages. Personalize a message so the person gets what they need. Also, if you don’t need to forward an email you were sent, don’t.
- Write short emails. Send emails that can be read in a preview pane, or a single screen on mobile, if your message is clear, this is helpful for a reader.
Sometimes a good email is the one that was never sent. If the person you need to talk to prefers the phone, or in person conversations, consider adapting to their preference to get a helpful response.
What are your tips on writing a good email?