4 Tips On Writing Understandable E-Mailsby QArea Team on July 29, 2014
Lots of managers and top executives are facing dozens or even hundreds of e-mails on a daily basis. And it is easy to get lost without special training even some navy seals might not have. Thus these tips were created for assistance of everybody who wants his mail to be readable, understandable and of top priority if necessary.
Do not underestimate the subject line. It is as much a communication tool of its own as the rest of the letter is. I think anybody had an occasion in which mail needed to be checked on the go. And with an overfilled in-box it’s becoming quite a challenge. A small screen, you are walking or driving. Tons of distractions. Seeing the required subject line might be like a blessing from above in such a rush.
And that is, sadly, a rare occasion. Just remember how many mail have you received with a subject line stating “Hello” or other variations of a couple of words which are meaningless for the subject matter. Or even without any single letter whatsoever.
And there is one more thing that can go wrong here. Don’t forget to change the subject line when the conversation flow is going rogue and is jumping from testing a bug to reporting the results of the entire project. Properly filled subject line is actually a half of a successful letter.
Where’s the fire? Why is your every single mail ‘urgent!’ all red and with tons of exclamation marks? I mean, yes, sure your coffee break begins in ten minutes, that is a reason enough for me, but the urgent kitten pic you’ve sent yesterday?
Sound familiar? I believe there is at least one ‘urgent’ guy in every office. It’s as if they have never heard the tale of the boy, who cried ‘Wolf!’. You do not want to be that person in your office. Be reasonable when mailing. Your letters will never be treated seriously, unless your urgent mails will be really something that has to be accomplished with lightning speed. For all other cases we have our regular subject line.
Watch out for autocorrect. That sneaky Siri or your personal R2D2 Droid can sometimes be over caring. They want all to be neat and their way, yet a message stating HUG report will not be treated seriously with your colleagues and a couple of days (weeks, month, YEARS! Depends on your coworkers) of mocking is guaranteed no matter how hard you’ll explain you’ve meant BUG report.
Nowadays phones have tons of useful features. One of them, applicable at this situation is the ability of customizing your dictionary. Make sure your phone knows what you are working with.
Always, like ALWAYS, check what you are sending. It may be autocorrect or even your finger slipped the required key on that useless to small screen of yours (Bad phone! Bad!) all can be fixed before the letter is sent.
Nobody likes to read long letters. Especially full of boring work stuff. If you do need to send one of those, try to summarize it all, make a short list of what is included and put it in the beginning. It will be extremely convenient if the person receiving the mail is with his mobile device in hands. Or even if he is sitting in front of his monitor his attention will not be focused to its 100% potential or even if it does, more than one person may be receiving the letter with different areas of interest in the context. And a short bullet list in the beginning will assist the right person on what to focus on.
Also read our article “How to Segment Your Email Database in 5 Steps“.