Working in a corporate environment, where the senior management and lower management do not communicate directly can be quite a hassle especially when procedures are involved. Emailing is the only form of communication that exist, and that too involves many different parties (CC: All Staff). Therefore, it is essential that the emails sent out are comprehensive and does not cause further delays. For this, there are 4 key points to consider for effective email communication.
Very much like headlines to a newspaper, your subject line is a crucial component of an email. Subject lines, like the cover of a book is what people would refer to when judging which email needs immediate response and which does not. For emails that require immediate response, it will be worth including call to actions such as “Please Reply by 5pm, 20th of May” or “Please contact Sarah from Purchasing Dept.”. In a nutshell, the subject line must be attention-grabbing, specific to the content and concise.
First, you need to identify if the message being sent is worth communicated via email or can it be done via phone. Simply because some people receive close to a hundred email a day and when an email is sent for something that can be communicated via face to face interaction or phone, it can be stressful. Once you have identified that, think of how you would like to word your content.
Best thing to do is to keep your content clear and concise. Jot down important points on a separate piece of paper before writing your email to ensure you do not miss any important detail. Also make sure that your email is well-organized. Start with salutations, provide introduction and explain the context in which you are writing the email. Each point should be explained in separate paragraphs. The last paragraph should end with your expectations of the outcome and sign off with greetings and a thank you.
Emails can be easily misconstrued because it is not conveyed face to face. You cannot guess the tone the other person may be carrying. But some people tend to assume tones, which is what leads to it being misconstrued. Therefore, the safest option would be a professional sounding email. Be courteous and always use greetings. Keep in mind punctuations and choice of words.
Last but not least, always proofread your emails. Typos and grammatical error conveys your lack of thought and effort put into the email. It is also a reflection of your professionalism. Keep in mind the length of your email as well. Lengthy emails are often not paid much attention to. Make necessary edits and double-check that you are sending the email to the right contacts, that you have CC-ed the right people before hitting the send button.
Ryan Holmes once said, “Email is familiar. It’s comfortable. It’s easy to use. But it might just be the biggest killer of time and productivity in the office today”. Therefore, quit wasting people’s time and productivity through effective email communication.