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Writing Effective Emails for Better Business Communication

writing effective emailsWhen I get an email that has multiple paragraphs I look at it, decide I don’t have time to read it, and close it out, promising to go back to it later when I have more time, which never happens. Sorry if you’re the recipient of this practice. I’m sure there are several people reading this who have given up on the idea of my responding.

Here are a few tips for writing effective emails that more likely to be read:

  1. Put a specific subject in the subject line that says what the email is about.
    1. This does not include your name. We already know your name.
    2. Ex.:  “Trip” (that’s not specific). Instead try:  “Trip to Arkansas to see Walmart”
  2. Highlight and bold important parts of the email
    1. Limit this practice so what’s bolded and highlighted stands out.
    2. If everything is bold, nothing stands out.
  3. Use bullets
  4. Use the fewest number of words possible
  5. Use jump links that send readers to relevant information
  6. Offer additional information if desired

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll notice bold important sentences and use bulleted and numbered lists to make the blog easier to read, like the list above.

The shorter your emails are, the more likely they are to get read. You can always offer additional information, but readers won’t get to the detail if they never read the email.  When it comes to writing effective emails, shorter is better.

About 

Shari Harley is the founder and President of Candid Culture, a Denver-based training firm that is bringing candor back to the workplace, making it easier to give feedback at work. Shari is the author of the business communication book How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships that Really Work. She is a keynote speaker at conferences and does training throughout the U.S. Learn more about Shari Harley and Candid Culture’s training programs at www.candidculture.com.

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