Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Writing Better Emails: #2 Keep it short, clear and to the point, pt. 1

Keep it short, clear and to the point, pt. 1

Address Line

If you are sending an e-mail to up to three people, make sure to include all of their names in the greeting. If there are more than three, use an inclusive greeting to address the group as a whole.

When sending a message to a large list of recipients, you might not want to put all of their addresses in the TO: line. They may not want their e-mail address shared. Instead, include the addresses in the blind copy, or BCC, line. This will hide the list of e-mails from those who receive the e-mail. Avoid using this tactic to privately share a message with a third party, since this can be impolite and deceptive.

Do all of the recipients actually need the information? If not, don’t copy them (CC:) or hit Reply All or forward them the message

Subject Line

Always include a subject line in the e-mail and make sure it is as meaningful as possible. Your subject line should give a reader a quick summary or preview of the e-mail. This will help clarify the topic and allow them to prioritize their time.

Make sure you use normal capitalization in the subject line as well. All upper case or lower case subject lines are common in spam messages.
Most e-mail programs come with the ability to indicate that an e-mail is important, usually with a icon that you can add to the message. Try to avoid overusing this feature. Convey the priority through the text of the subject line instead.

Next: #2 Keep it short, clear and to the point, pt. 2

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