Email are part and parcel of our life and we need to know the right ways to draft them in order to get results. You might think you spend the majority of your time at work sitting in meetings or talking on the phone, but you could be wrong. In fact, a significant portion of your work week could be spent writing, ready, and responding to emails.
Here are some pointers that every emailer must follow.
Descriptive subject line
Your subject line should outline the reason for your email so the recipient is compelled to open and answer it. It should also be clear and succinct as after all, if your subject line is clear, your email will likely be, too. Try avoiding full sentences and only putting the meatiest part of your reason for emailing in the subject line.
To the point
In the opening lines of your email, you might be tempted to enumerate on your credentials or your organization, but you can do that later. Instead, the opening line of your email should immediately get to the point so the recipient immediately understands what is being asked of them.
Resist the urge to use industry jargon or flowery language and stick to the basics. Make your sentences clear, straightforward, and short, if a sentence requires more than one comma, consider breaking it into two sentences. The easier your email is to understand, the easier it will be for the recipient to quickly respond.
There are a few ways you can use numbers and statistics in your email that will make it easier to attract and keep the recipient’s attention. Numbered list probably drew the eye of the readers more than writing that out in paragraph format would have. Formatting helps too, more on that later.
Keep it short
Researchers analyzed over five years of emails, and they found that shorter emails resulted in faster response times. That is helpful when you consider that reading and responding to emails can eat up so many hours in your week. Shorter emails help you and the recipient spend less time writing and replying to emails, which makes everyone more productive.
Add bullet points
Whenever possible, use bullet points or a numbered list to organize your email structure. Bullets do not require full sentences, so you can use fewer words to get the same message across. They help break up the formatting of an email to maintain the reader’s attention. Bulleted or numbered lists help clearly outline steps in a process that need to be taken, which is useful for email documenting meetings or initiatives.
Some emails have clear asks, and some emails do not. Either way, make sure to clearly state what exactly you need from the recipient of your email to make it easier for them to reply. Whether you need them to edit a blog post, attend a meeting, or you do not need any specific action from them at that time, make sure that is the last line of your email. The final line of your email will likely be most memorable, so if the recipient does not reply right away, they will be able to easily remember what they need to do next.