Consider these quick tips before you hit ‘send’:
Can it wait?
If your email is not time-critical, consider waiting to send. That way your recipients can deal with urgent matters first.
If you are worried about forgetting to send, draft the email and use the delay delivery option.
Have I buried the lead?
Take a brief pause to think about the high-level takeaway from your email – it should be a very brief sentence. Put this information up front, right after your greeting. Some people only read what can be seen in the preview screen of Outlook, so make sure your message is clear.
Then clearly state what you want, why you want it, and when you need a response. Think of this as an “executive summary” for your reader.
Does my subject line help the reader?
Effective subject lines make you stand out from the hundreds of emails people receive. You come across as smart, organized, and professional.
- Is there a project name or other reference point?
- What is the email about?
- Do you need a response by a certain time?
- Is it just an informational update? Consider if you need to send it now.
Can I group content to avoid sending multiple emails?
If you are reviewing materials or brainstorming a problem, consider putting all your comments and ideas into one email. It is sometimes tempting to get information to the team quickly in separate emails, but sending one email containing all your points makes it easier for people to action them, and prevents something from slipping through the cracks.
Stay safe and healthy during this difficult time.
For more help on writing skills, check out our upcoming Virtual Instructor-Led Write for Results workshop.