Do you hate reading overly long emails where you have to sort through a bucket-load of information before you get to the actual point of it?
Do you write those types of emails yourself?
If the answer to the second question is yes, here are 10 ways you can write better, concise emails brought to you by Mashable’s “The Muse.” (http://mashable.com/2015/01/02/write-better-emails/)
Your coworkers will thank you.
- Announce your intentions upfront — and get to the point
“Hey! I know you’re busy getting ready for the conference, so I’ll get right to the point. I am writing today because…”
- Try to Include One “Big Idea” Per Email
“The one thing I need from you, right now, is…”
- Try to use statements, not open-ended questions
“I think launching the new campaign on Thursday is the best choice. If you agree, write back to say ‘yes,’ and I’ll proceed. If not, let’s talk.”
- Be surprisingly generous
“Congratulations on your promotion. Very exciting. P.S. I left an inspiring book on your desk. Just a little something to usher in the next chapter. Enjoy…”
- When delivering criticism, be respectful and specific
“Thanks for all of your work. We’re getting closer, but the logo still isn’t feeling quite right. Here are three specific adjustments that I’d love for you to make.”
- Show your humanity
“So sorry to hear that your dog passed away. Mine went to doggy-heaven last year. If you want to talk about it, I’m here. If you want to not talk about it (and go out for a coffee or do something fun), I’m here, too.”
- Tell your reader what you need and when you need it
“Hey! Here’s a quick recap of our conversation—plus two questions for you at the end. I’d love to receive your responses by [date] so that we can keep moving forward on schedule.”
- Send emails that include a compliment, not a demand or request
“Hey. You did a terrific job at the press conference. Thanks for making our company look great!”
- Whenever Possible, End With Some of the Most Beautiful Words on Earth
“No rush on this.”
“For your information, only. No action necessary.”
- Keep it short
It’s not always possible, but try to express yourself in three sentences or less.
When you write better emails, you inspire others to follow your lead. (Hopefully.) Just think of how much nicer the world would be if we communicate through shorter and more succinct emails.