We obviously can’t rely on email alone to communicate. How many times have you heard or asked, “Didn’t you get my email?” Since we regularly use email to communicate, however, we need to know how to make it more reliable?
With any form of communication, capturing and maintaining the reader’s attention are pivotal to success. That’s especially true for email.
Your readers may receive dozens of emails and other written communications each day, or they may work in a chaotic environment. How will you get their attention? Why will they care more about your message more than dozens of others? After you get their attention
A hand written note will likely get my attention before an email message. It might also get lost in the mess on my desk, so send the email message as well.n, how will you keep it long enough to make your point? What if my “attention-getting” subject line doesn’t work? Here are some tips that I hope you find helpful:
- A message that carries the authority of senior management or comes from a respected source will get priority over others. Name dropping or over use of this, however, might make it ineffective.
- Follow up with a phone call.
- Make a personal appearance.
- Keep improving your writing skills. (I thought I had very good writing skills until I married an English teacher.) Take an occasional writing class, read, blog….
- Know your audience. It helps to understand the people, power structure and environment that you work in. I knew an executive who had her administrative assistant print, sort and prioritize her email before she read it. Whenever I sent that executive an email, I visited her administrative assistant to explain why it was important.
- Be assertive (and polite). State what you need and be specific. For example: “I need….by 2:00 PM.” is more likely to get results than “Would you be able to send me….by 2:00 PM?”
- You already know this, but it’s worth repeating: Write “attention-getting” subject and opening lines. There are many good articles about this point, so I won’t cover it here.
Share some of your email tips and experiences.
Related articles you may find useful
- 7 ways to ensure your e-mail gets read (microsoft.com)
- 8 things I wish everyone knew about email (sethgodin.typepad.com)
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- Email Overload Fix: 3 Sentence Emails (techcrunch.com)
- Your Emails Will Get Attention If They Sound Like Tweets [Attention] (gizmodo.com)
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