30 Apr Writing an Email That Actually Gets Read
All too often, emails—including important business emails—either sit in an inbox and go unread, or are opened and only partially read by their recipients. Although virtual desktops and other communications technology have put most of us in reach of work email 24/7, more than half of email users admit that they don’t open and read their messages on a regular basis.
Many readers only skim through messages. Spam emails that clog inboxes are partially to blame. Another reason for the decline of email is the rise of texting and chat communication via social networks, which is a faster, less verbose medium for communication.
If email remains vital to how your company communicates, consider these tips for writing messages that recipients will read.
- Craft the right subject line – It’s not enough just to put “Question” as your subject line if you’re writing a message to inquire about a new product or opportunity. Instead, be a little more specific by mentioning what your question is about. Remember to be brief, as a too-long subject line is just as much of a turn-off as a too-long one.
- Brevity – Don’t beat around the bush. Get to the point. Texting has made us impatient with long forms of communication. While a longer message than a text may be necessary, practice an economy of words when writing.
- Presentation – Don’t use a goofy font or silly colors in your email. Make your email look neat and professional.
- Make it personal – If possible, include your recipient’s name in the subject line. Also, be sure to use the recipient’s name in a salutation when starting your message. It gets their attention a lot better than a generic greeting.
- Make it scannable – Make your email easy to navigate. Use bullet points, numerical lists, and short paragraphs to make the information more accessible.
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