Transform Your Email Game: 5 Strategies for Clearer and More Efficient Communication

Today we’re covering a simple yet important topic: email.

Most people email poorly.

I’m going to share with you 5 ideas that will make you a more effective communicator, over email.

5 Ideas For Better Emailing

  1. Understand your Audience
  2. Know your Outcome
  3. Layout
  4. Tense
  5. Follow-up

Let’s tackle these one by one.

1/ Understand your Audience

The audience dictates the type of language you use. You need to use terminology your audience understands. Are they someone who needs a ton of detail, or are they a high-level decision maker? Factor your audience in when crafting your message. [Google maps provides a good example for leaders]

2/ Know your Outcome

If you understand your outcome, you can anticipate questions and address those up front.

You can also ask anticipate responses to avoid a back and forth.

For example:

When you ran into “X” problem did you try “Y” or “Z”? If the former, “A” will be your next step. If the latter, try “B”.

3/ Layout

This is a game changer.

  • It
  • is easier
  • to read bullets

Compared to reading a long drawn out sentence strung together with other long sentences.

Use bullets. Often.

My favorite uses are for summaries and calls to action (CTA).

Speaking of which, always label in your CTA:

  1. Who owns the task.
  2. What exactly is needed.
  3. When you need it by.

Ambiguity is the enemy. Get more done with clear calls to action.

Final thoughts on layout:

  • If there are multiple attachments, make sure they are explained & clearly labeled.
  • Use the minimum effective dose of words to get your message across. Shorter is better 99% of the time.
  • If there are multiple tables, make sure those are clearly labeled and below all of the text.

4/ Tense

❌ The meeting will be held at 2pm.

✅ We’re meeting at 2pm.

Avoid the passive tense.

As Steven King wrote: Don’t be a muggle! Stick your chin out, throw your shoulders back, and put that meeting in charge!

5/ Follow-Up

You need to track responses so you can follow up when needed. Typically 1-2 business days depending on the ask. Sometimes shorter. Sometimes longer. If 2-3 follow-ups fail, don’t be shy about picking up the phone and dialing.

Implement these ideas.

Get more done.

You’ll thank me later.

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