Whether you’re working from home or sitting in your office, chances are you have your inbox open right now. Email has become the primary method of communication for professionals throughout the meetings industry. Many of us spend our days replying, forwarding, CCing, deleting and starring in attempts to keep our folders organized and our lives in order. However, effective email management requires more than your personal work; you need recipients at the other end of the message to respond, too.
Some of the clients and colleagues in your address book may not always get back to you immediately, and others may rarely ever reply. If you find yourself constantly chasing people for e-answers, you may want to adjust your approach to writing. Here are three simple tips to follow.
1) Avoid writing a novel. A survey from MailTime
revealed that 20 percent of people won’t fully read emails that are longer than one paragraph. If the email stretches much longer, the results are significantly worse. Seventy-six percent of respondents in the survey disapprove of emails longer than three paragraphs. If the message starts to look like you’re writing a full chapter, consider ways to shorten it with bullet points and eliminating unnecessary text. Better yet, consider picking up the phone to discuss what you need.
2) Spell check every word.
This includes one of the very first words that should be in your email: the recipient’s name. While this may sound obvious, I’ve received a number of emails addressed to “Davis.” It may not feel like a big issue, but it’s the very first piece of the message — the opportunity to impress the recipient and come across as someone who takes the time to pay attention to every detail. Your smartphone can auto-correct many names to the incorrect spelling, so be extra careful when replying from a mobile device.
3) Don’t go CC crazy.
As we try to keep employees and partners updated, it can be tempting to hit ‘reply all’ all the time. However, when someone opens an email and realizes it’s addressed to 20 other people, he or she may feel less inclined to take time to focus on the message. After all, with 19 other recipients, won’t someone else handle the request?
Looking for more tips to make your emails more effective? Check out the “Before You Hit Send Email Checklist.