This is a book I am currently reading. Its recommended by David Ogilvy to read. Twice! These are some of the learnings I liked.
1. Make the subject heading clear and compelling
- Its worth studying newspapers, particularly The Wall Street Journal, to understand what kinds of headlines convert scanners to readers.
- Oh, and caution against marking emails URGENT.
2. Get to the point
- Chip away at anything that isn’t your point. Anything over one screen risks not being read. If longer then send as an attachment.
3. The right tone
- Sometimes its wise to respond, “Let me think about it overnight. I’ll get back to you in the morning”.
- Compose yourself, then compose your message.
- Nothing is private on a work email. ALWAYS remember that.
- Never put anything personally negative in an email. EVER. Hard to resist I know, but let’s try this together.
4. Email etiquette
- Dont broadcast supposedly interesting email material unless you know their interests. It’s the e-mail equivalent of junk mail.
- If you want action, list only one name in the TO: field. With more than one name, it is not clear who has the responsibility to act and becomes likely that no one will take it on.
- Reply All may be the most dangerous button on the screen. Count to ten before you unleash this plague on your victims.
5. Email tag – Avoid it.
- Dont forget the context of your mail to avoid email tag. Be clear about the purpose of your mail. Ask yourself: What do you want the reader to do?
I loved this section in the book on email. Its hard though. All I want to do is explain myself on email, and then I remember to stop. With practice, it becomes second nature. Can’t wait to absorb the rest of this book.