Here are some tips to make people more likely to read your email.
I’ve noticed that some people struggle to communicate effectively via email, so maybe sharing these tips will help someone.
1. include *one message* per email — when you include 2 or more, the others easily get ignored. It’s better to send a new message, like “ps. one more thing…”
2. don’t make people think why you move from A to B, but make it evident from the text. Like, make a logical argument that explains itself. Find supporting evidence when needed and be truthful to yourself.
3. use short sentences, short paragraphs — people are scanning so shortness sells.
4. use plain words, don’t make people think
5. use words and phrases that cannot be misunderstood
6. be personal, use people’s names to catch their attention
7. use bolding and lists to facilitate scanning — in text-only, use *asterisk symbols* to emphasize
8. include the next steps — too many emails end up in a limbo, like what should I do after reading it?
9. do the thinking for the reader, so it’s easy to take action. Sometimes this means writing a single email can take an hour or more.
10. include all the relevant people when forwarding or replying — maximum transparency, maximum information
11. however, when you want a specific response, send your message individually. For example, don’t send survey links as mass-posting; approach people personally.
Got more tips? Share!