The very first email was sent in 1971, and since then the world has grown to use email as an effective means of communication in the workplace. Over 300 billion emails are sent daily, with the average worker receiving 121 emails per day. With so many emails going back and forth, its important that the message you are sending stands out from the rest so it can be noticed, read, and actioned as needed.
- Tailor you email to your audience – Before sitting down to write out your email, spend some time thinking about the recipient and what kind of communication they would expect. You might need a more formal approach when looking to book time with a manager or client, or may take a friendlier view when asking your team for their opinion on the next staff lunch spot. If you’re unsure how to phrase your message, its always best to take a more formal approach at the start and adjust as needed in following messages.
- Add in the right recipients – When sending an email, you have three options for adding recipients: the Send To line, the CC (carbon copy) line, and the BCC (blind carbon copy) line. The true recipient should always be included in the Send To line, while those who may need relevant information (but have no action items) should be added to the CC line. Anyone included in the BCC line will receive the same information as those in the Send To and CC lines, but cannot be seen by those recipients. In most cases its clear who the email should be going to, but be sure to ask your self is anyone else needs to be included and how.
- Have an outstanding subject line – If you want your email to stand out from the crowd, start with a subject line that catches the readers attention. If you are making a sales pitch, your subject line needs to be captivating and compelling so its opened by your prospect. If you are looking to sit down with a client or colleague, use the term “Meeting Request” so they know its an actionable item. If an urgent response is needed, say so! Use the term “Urgent” or “Signature Needed” along with a description so they know what to expect before they review the communication.
- Keep it active – Though using a more passive voice when writing emails may come off as more formal, it can also cause miscommunication or misunderstanding if you are making a request of someone. There should be no doubt in what you are asking, especially when the recipient is reading through many requests throughout the day. If you need to book their time, tell them “I would like to sit down at 3pm on Wednesday to discuss” as opposed to “someone will be reaching out to book time this week”.