Enough with the Email Already
Email, first thing in the morning is worse than a really bad cup of coffee! Over half of the email in-box is junk and it is taking up way too much time for your business. Email junk mail is the number one complaint at the water cooler. Businesses lose work time dealing with the unwelcome and useless email. This happens whether it is at work or at home. And some get so much email that they block the mail and send it directly to the Junk File. It has been calculated that office workers spend 2.6 hours per day reading and answering emails. This equates to 33% of a 40-hour work week. Emails are time consuming.
Email is cheap. It is easy to use. And it is far faster than any other way of mail communication. But, because of all of these wonderful characteristics, email can be used in irritating and erroneous ways. But, there are certain guidelines that can help get your email to a point that it is read and responded to without going into the junk file.
First and foremost, when writing an email, think of the recipient’s time. Edit, Edit Edit, as my english teacher used to say. Keep your message short and simple and directly to the point. You are responsible for the message and the length of that message. So, keep in mind that what you write should include the time factor in its length.
Sometimes, responses to your emails come back so short, that you think the recipient is mad at you. But, if you keep in mind that time is a factor, short may be sweet and not sour. Someone may have 50 emails in their in-box and they need to reply to them all. The fact that they send a one or two sentence response that answers your questions, should be considered a real win And then there are the replies that take awhile to get back to you. If you haven’t heard back from someone in a couple of days, email them again. But, remember the 50 emails in their in-box and the time factor. Don’t be too anxious or obnoxious like some of those other e-mailers who send one email after another all day long!
One way to get to the point in your email so that the receiver will open it, is to put the right words in the subject line. Clearly state what the email is about. Keep the sentence limited in words. Use your subject line to indicate urgency and the timeline for a response. Indicate a deadline, such as “Needed by Tuesday. Now your reader knows that this is going to require some attention. Avoid emoji's and strange fonts. They have better things to do than to decipher what it all means.
When asking questions in the body of the email, ask questions that are to the point of what you are looking for in an answer. Remember, again, they don’t have time to write a novel in response.
Don’t ask general or open ended questions. Easy to answer questions are best for getting response results.
Only use attachments when they are needed for the direct communication. Attachments, logos and signatures can slow an email down and take too much time to open. These are time wasters. It is easier to use the text in the attachment in the body of the email.