Email has long since become the preferred type of communication in offices. Email allows for convenience, simplicity and a record of conversations for clarity. However, an email is much easier to ignore, or forget about, than in-person communication. To ensure the busy people in your life read your email, keep your messages simple and direct. Ultimately, the key to making sure others read your email is respecting your reader’s time, and constructing a clear message.
To make sure busy people read your email, the most crucial step is a functional subject line. Keep your subject line direct, yet descriptive. A generalized subject line makes your email easy to miss. Make your subject line specific to the type of attachment or conversation you are discussing. This way, not only will the receiver know exactly why they need to read your email, your email will also be easier to search later on. For example, try “Time Sensitive Third Quarter Forms”, as opposed to general terms, like “Documents”.
Keep it Simple
Keeping your message short and simple is another crucial way to ensure busy associates read your email. Remember: a short email is an accessible email. Pleasantries are nice for catching up with friends, but will convolute your message in professional settings. Write about as few topics as possible to ensure your email is direct, and easy to understand.
Keep it Short
When conveying important information, you don’t want your reader getting lost. Additionally, large blocks of text are intimidating to readers. A message consisting of large paragraphs is far less readable then a message with short paragraphs. Keep your message to two or three blocks of text, ideally with three sentences or less in each. This helps keep the focus of your message to the subject at at hand, which is more respectful of your reader’s time.
Section Your Message
Similar to keeping your message short, divide your message into sections. Each block of text should address only one topic. This will keep your message focused and make it easier to read your email. For example, when responding to an associates design for your company, the first sentence or two should summarize you reaction. Then start a new paragraph, asking for any revisions in one sentence or two. Then wrap up your email with a professional sign off. While this approach may seem short for a casual conversation, professional conversations should always take as little time as possible from your reader.
Fancy backgrounds and multiple logos might make your email look impressive on your machine, but remember that not everyone has rich HTML elements enabled. Additionally, increasing numbers of us access email on mobile devices, where large image files take more time to load. Stick to basic formatting in place of complicated image layouts. This way, your email will look uniform across devices.
Enable Alternate Ways to Read Your Email
When your message requires photos heavy formatting, remember that the internet is now flooded with different email hosts. Not all hosts work the same, or involve the same features. To ensure recipients read your email, keep in mind the benefits of emailing a plain text version of your message with a link to a web based version. Plain text messages load fastest on mobile browsers, and eliminate any formatting issues on different platforms. A plain text message with a link to a web based version, as opposed to a message with several images, is also less likely to be caught in a spam filter.
Make Your Expectations Clear
Your busy associate just read your email, now what? The last step in an effective email is making sure your reader understands what they need to do now. If you need a response by a certain time, for example, rely on rules two and three: simplicity and sections. Start a new paragraph, then state your expectations in a sentence or two. For example, instructions like “Please send these files by Tuesday at 3:00” is easy to miss at the end of a paragraph. Isolate instructions for your reader at the end of your email, in a separate paragraph, to ensure nothing is missed.