A tip for keeping emails effective

One problem with email is that it is efficient for the writer, but usually ineffective for the reader. One way to minimize this mismatch is to keep emails short, and without any adjectives or adverbs. Some people might be put off by this, and consider it cold, but if your relationship is solid, they can usually deal with it. The risk of misinterpretation or reading between the lines is far lessened when stripping things down.

Easier to understand the intention here…

Please download the attachment, fill in the blanks, and send it back as an attachment by Friday. Please let me know if you have questions. Thanks.

…than here…

Say, I know you are super busy right now, but I’m really anxious to get this crossed off of both our our crowded to-do lists. The attachment should be pretty clear, and once you download it and take a look at it’s simplicity, it should be pretty easy for you to quickly fill it out and get it emailed back to me by Thursday, or Friday at the latest. So if you could do that, it would be great. Thanks!!!

Another advantage of conciseness and keeping things clear of modifiers is this: it reduces the time involved for everyone. When in doubt, pick up the phone and choose personal communication over written communication. It’s so much more connecting.

What do you think?

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