at sign for e-mail

7 Tips for Writing-to-Be-Read eMail Messages

at sign for e-mail

One of the top posts on eQuipping for eMinistry is Tips about eMail Usage and Abusage.  Recently, I posted some tips on keeping eMails brief and now here’s “part three” with help on writing eMails that will be read (based mostly on “How to eMail Busy People” by Jason Freeman).

Jason’s seven tips for eMailing busy people also apply to eMails in general:

  1. Subject lines are important – make them short and descriptive (also see the post, eMail… briefly)
  2. Use your company eMail address for company-related topics (don’t confuse your recipient by using multiple addresses)
  3. Remind a new contact of where you met, who you are, or the context of your last conversation
  4. Limit the length of your eMail (again, discussed in eMail… briefly)
  5. Make it clear what you are asking
  6. Respond immediately when someone has responded to your initiative
  7. Include a short, professional signature with contact information

Jason also recommends your eMails to a busy person should be 3 to 5 sentences maximum or even just contained in the subject line.  He writes in How to eMail Busy People:

You need to assume several key realities about the target of your email.  He has received 300 other emails that day.  He has temporarily forgotten how you met.  He has temporarily forgotten everything you’ve already talked about.  He has 20 seconds to spend on your email before deciding to handle it later (which may mean never). He probably won’t click any links or open any attachments.

All of this is irrespective of the fact that he may indeed care about you and your startup.  But email is such a burden on his life that he just can’t be accomodating when it comes to triaging hundreds of emails.


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