Emails are an important part of our daily communication at work. Underestimating the significance of an email is analogous to ignoring a weekly meeting or paying no heed to your Key Result Areas aka KRAs. Sometimes, we fail to communicate succinctly. Such errors crop up quite often when we receive a humongous project or receive incessant emails from our clients, business partners or customers. How to craft coherent emails in such a scenario?
There’s nothing to worry about. We all learn from our mistakes. Don’t we? Emails have always been an integral part of my profile. My 8 years of experience has made me quite confident when it comes to writing a perfect email. I measured my success rate through instant replies, short chains and resolving maximum issues. I learned through practice. I learned from my seniors who seldom left any gap while allocating multiple tasks or conveying an important change in the process.
If I receive more than 20 emails in just one day, do I manage to make the person write to me the very same day in cases where the issue needs to be resolved urgently? Do I make the person shoot some irrelevant questions that could have been very well answered in my first email itself?
To help you construct a coherent email, I am putting across 7 easy tips.
- Subject of your Email should be clear — always keep the subject short and easy to understand. For instance, if you have to email a project to your team then put the ‘number of units’ to be considered first, keep a hyphen followed by the name of the project or vice versa (Subject example: ‘2348 units — Written Content related to XYZ’).
- Cc only those who are directly related to a project or assignment — if you are directly reporting to your manager, always keep him or her in Cc whenever you deal with something important or urgent. You might save your time and won’t be asked to forward emails when the manager or HOD requests.
- Keep the body of your Email short — avoid long paragraphs. Use bullet points to share a bunch of things. People like replying to short and crisp emails. They usually dislike ‘storytelling’ via emails.
- Put the Email on high importance if it is very urgent — use this feature and be very straight forward while raising a particular issue along with its consequences.
- Talk about the most important thing first — make sure you’re not beating around the bush and clearly sharing the issue or figures or any particular information associated with your subject.
- Make sure you are following the same chain — same chain acts like a RECORD, so avoid digressing from the main email or creating a new email for the same task or issue when all your colleagues are working on it already. It’s very irritating to go through the same issue or task from a different email. This leads to confusion and delays in replies too.
- Avoid overuse of emojis or phrases — it’s absolutely fine to use emoticons/emojis or phrases in an email especially when a particular task is huge or dense. However, never use a wink emoji or any objectionable emoji. Phrases like ‘you did it’, ‘you’re a rockstar’ are highly over rated now. Instead, ‘your timely response is highly appreciated’ or ‘your timely suggestion really helped the team’ sound more humble and reverent.
I am not perfect so if you find any gaps or if you find something missing, please share your valuable feedback.