I LOVE EMAIL.
There, I’ve said it. Email is wonderful! I would not be able to work for myself if we didn’t have this convenient communication tool. I use it every day, and it’s my preferred means to keep track of my client’s requests and my team’s progress. And like any love, there are some pain-points which just wretch through my very being. Every. Single. Email. Every. Single. Day.
Just 15 Seconds To Perfection
1 — Use An Subject
Use a clear and succinct subject – Think of your email subject as a new headline. Make it clear yet broad.
Let’s be kind to our recipient and not make him or her work to understand your communications. Sometimes I’ll get an email with only “?” in the subject line. Seriously? Umm, whah? No, sorry, this is just confusing. Not a good subject if you have a question. This is not a chat window. Should y response be “!” ? So, how about we clarify the email subject with more specific intention such as “Image cropping in Photoshop.” Bing Bing Bing! We have a winner. This subject gives the reader an immediate understanding of the email, and allows for it to be found when later doing a search.
2 — Just Forward
Include the “Quote Level” and add some context.
If you forward someone an email without explaining what action you need, it’s like walking past someone’s desk and just dumping a bunch of papers, and then walking away. Very confusing. Just add something like “hey, can you please help me with Mary’s request below?”
3 — Keep It
What’s With Multiple Signatures?? – Strip out your signature between email threads
After a few replies to an email thread, it is almost impossible to see the content between all of those signatures and time stamps and (ugh!) embedded logos. Seriously, you really do NOT need to include your signature after every single reply. Only the first time you engage in the email. Try this change sometime, and see how much easier it is to read through a thread after a day or two, when you need to refer back to something someone said. ESPECIALLY if your email signature has those useless legal notifications. These signatures are not required every. single. time. Just on your first email to the person or group.