Emails that encourage the recipient to do what you’re asking

Here’s a nice article which we could all learn from. 9 Tips for Emailing Important People on Six Revisions points out that as most emails you send are to ask someone about something, making it easy for them to respond is a win-win strategy. So here goes. Firstly, people might only have time to write a short reply, and might feel guilty about that if your email was long. So keep yours short in the first place. Then there’s the need to give your email a clear purpose. Don’t waffle! Send your message just to the person who it’s aimed at. Don’t copy it to others just to show you’re doing your job. The main recipient might mistakenly leave it to the others to reply.

There are plenty more ideas in the article, which is worth a read.

Discussion

  1. Jeremy Procter

    Pretty good. I think it’s also worth exploring the way people use E-mail.

    Too often as a substitute for speaking to people about things that should be spoken about (e.g. responding to complaints is better done by talking, then confirmed by E-mail) …shows you really care and speech is a better medium for apologising and reassuring. Also just e-mailing people who are requesting info from you, misses the opportunity to explain your full offer and understand their full requirement and potential.

    Lastly most e-mails are written in a kind of shorthand (not like an electronic letter) that allows lots of scope for misunderstandings, that speech avoids.

    I encourage our people to use e-mail for simple fact based messages. and confirmation of things that are agreed. Not for debate or argument. There’s my Monday morning rant.

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