Saturday, October 30, 2004

Communicating Via Email

Effectively communicating using email

According to a recent study by Harvard Business School, you can significantly increase the chances that the email you send actually gets read by following these four simple rules.

1. Use the subject line of the email to summarize your message.
People scan their email inbox by subject. Make your subject rich enough that your readers can decide whether the email is real and relevant.

2. Give your reader full context at the start of your message.
Start off your messages with a reference to help orient your reader to what the message is about, such as "Regarding your recent article about...".

3. Make action requests clear.
If the purpose of your email is to ask that something be done, say so. Summarize what you need or want the recipient to do. Don't make them guess.

4. Make your email one page or less.
Make sure the meat of your email is visible in the preview window of your recipient's mailer. That means the first two paragraphs should have the meat. Many people never read past the first screen, and very few read past the third.

Find the full Harvard Business School article at

Source: Bill Myers Tip of the Week - October 30, 2004