Three mistakes often get in the way of efficient emailing, leading to a round-robin of emails that could have been avoided from the start.
- Taking a long time to make a short point. Try posting your most important point in the subject line. This technique works especially well for meetings (“Marketing meeting 3 p.m., room 4”), where the information confronts your readers the moment they look at their inbox. However, be sure the repeat the short message in the body of the email. Some people don’t look at the subject line until after they open the email.
- Never quite asking the question. If you are asking a question, then somewhere in your email there has to be a question mark. Otherwise, you are making a series of statements, and your reader has to guess at the answer you want. If you have had trouble before getting clear answers to clear questions, try this technique: break up your question into smaller parts that can be answered “yes” or “no” or with only a few words.
- Asking for a reply as soon as possible. The phrase “as soon as possible” is an invitation to delay. Give a deadline–by end of day, by Tuesday, by March 31.
At TWP Marketing & Technical Communications, our goal is to save clients time and effort and help them communicate clearly with their customers.