Despite a regular flow of articles with headlines like “The End of the Inbox,” email continues to be the key communication tool in most modern offices. Email is searchable, inexpensive, and an easy way to work with colleagues around the world. Here are some tips for making the most out of email at work.
Use a clear subject line. Most information workers today get dozens of daily emails, so a concise subject line is a key way to stand out.
Put your call to action right in your opening. Do you need to set up a meeting? Do you have a question about an upcoming project? Put your request right at the top so it’s crystal clear what you would like your reader to do.
Think about spacing. Reading on a screen is much easier with breaks in the text. Use line breaks to open up your message.
Start a new email for a different topic. If you are emailing with a colleague regarding a client proposal and also need information on a different subject, start a new email. Running two discussions in one thread can cause trouble.
Remember that humor is hard through text. It’s best to keep attempts at humor to a minimum to avoid misunderstandings. Humor depends a lot on tone of voice and body language – and none of that comes through in an email message. You don’t need to make your email all business; you just need to be careful.
Drop fancy formatting. Graphics, script fonts and background colors can (and likely will) get broken by your recipient’s email client. Keep your Outlook, Gmail or other “work” email design as simple as possible and use a dedicated email service provider like MailChimp or Constant Contact to send emails that need to look good.
Let things sit before you send. If you have time, it’s a great idea to let an email sit for a minute and then reread it before sending it. Imagine you are going to publish your email on the front page of the New York Times. Reread for typos and check your tone before you click send.
Marathon Consulting has extensive experience in managing, migrating and supporting a wide range of email platforms. If your office email needs some attention, contact our team to learn more about how we can help you.