Didn’t you read my email?

Several old-fashioned hand-written envelopesWe’re currently studying internal communication at my workplace, and when it comes to email, we realize there is room for improvement–as there is in any organization. For us, “short and sweet” is the exception, not the rule. Multiple threads forwarded without explanation? Check. Lack of organization? Check. An effort to appear knowledgeable by writing a dense mess of jargon? Check.

One of my favorite blogs, Time Management Ninja, just added a great post, 10 Reasons Your Emails Are Too Long. My favorite part comes near the end:

After you write an email, you should edit it before sending. Besides, the obvious spelling and grammatical errors, you should be editing for content, meaning, and conciseness. Another good thumb-rule is: the number of times you should re-read an email before sending is equal to the number of people you are sending it to. (And yes, this rule scales.)

Who edits their outbound emails? Well, all of us should. If you want your message to be noticed, keep it short and give it the attention it needs. You’d be surprised at how powerful a well-written short email can be.

What tips help you write effective email messages? Please add comments below.


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