3 Top Ways To Improve Your Email Writing
December 13, 2012 Leave a comment
As email communication has become routine we risk becoming lax with three important things:
- Stating what we need to accomplish – clearly
- Being sure to share why our reader should care & likely act
- Making our writing easy to understand
The result is that we either write very short – almost cryptic messages with no context or we write long drawn-out messages that look like bricks.
We email add day long using computers, pads and smartphones; this frequency often undermines our ability to communicate professionally and protect our personal and professional reputation. The following are 3 Top Ways to improve your email writing – topics which always generate lots of conversation within the Email Etiquette and Time Management courses I deliver.
1. Get to The Point
Tell your reader in the first and second sentence what’s in it for them.
Most of us give background information first – boring their reader with details and no reason why they should wade through this information. Then, the last few sentences we get to the point and share critical motivational information like:
- What’s in it for them
- Why you need their help
- Action Items
- Time Lines
2. Label Background info as ‘Background’
If you get to the point in a few sentences and then add 5 paragraphs of background information, when your reader first looks at your message they will probably mistakenly think “Wow, this is going to take a long time and a lot of work. I’ll read it later when I have more time.”
You don’t want your email message to get overlooked so, use a header called ‘Background’ to separate less important information.
Before you hit send be sure your writing is clear and that you are not confusing your audience.
Email Example: What does the following mean?
‘I look forward our meeting next week. I will have the information you requested on Wednesday.’
This email example could be interpreted at least two ways:
- The information you requested will be available on Wednesday.
- The information you requested on Wednesday will be available for your meeting.
If you are part of a team like sales, project management or 100 other teams and message frequently, this simple miscommunication can undermine your credibility and might lead to wasted time and resources.
There are many times our quick writing styles lead to confusion and many more email / phone calls to correct situations.
Take 10 seconds to double-check your writing and to read it from their perspective – not yours. Be sure to check for missing information and to make sure your email message is easy to read. Those 10 seconds can save you and your audience minutes – and even hours.
With clear communication all your relationships will change – professionally and personally.
Click here to join our priority list of people who receive our latest Business Communication blog posts.
If you enjoyed this post we think you’ll like:
- Email Etiquette: Should You Reply To My Email?
- Improve Your Time Management Skills
- Generational Differences Training
- Effective Business Email Writing Training
- Mindfulness At Work
- How to Hire And Retain Millennials
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Habit 1
Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Multigenerational Training, Time Management and Mindfulness.
Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.
Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.
Click on the image to watch us on Canada AM.
I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.