Since so much communication these days takes place by e-mail, there is a lot of advice out there on how to make your e-mail communication as effective as possible. What exactly do you need to know to make your email as effective as it can be? The advice on writing good emails can be boiled down to a few important points.
The first point regards the subject line, which too many treat as simply a throwaway. Being concise is always important, so you want to make the best use of the subject line that you can. This means being as clear as possible in the subject line, telling what the e-mail is about. There is no need for a teaser, or to be funny or cute, or cryptic. Also, if time is an issue, you can note it here as well.
Avoid general greetings. If you are sending an e-mail, send it to a specific person or persons, addressing them by name if you want them to pay attention to what you have to say.
Make sure the e-mail is simple, clear and direct – get to the point right away. Take a lesson from the news business – what’s the lead of your particular story, and make sure it goes at the top. Don’t bury it. If you want to include other details, put them lower in the body. Also, using bullet points is effective in keeping e-mails clear and to the point.
If you need a reply, make sure you provide as much contact information as possible to the recipient. The person may want to respond by phone, for example, so include a telephone number.
As with anything you write, proofread your message to make sure there are no grammar or spelling errors. And keep an eye on the tone of the e-mail. It should be professional.
Finally, be clear in the e-mail what action you want the recipient to take as a result of reading your message. Do you want him to send some information, check on something, contact another person? Make sure the desired action is clear.
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