Email is an imposition. When you send it, you’re broadcasting “pay attention to me!” to whoever gets it. It’s important that you keep your email rep high, so that your communication doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. Here’s a few tips I follow when composing electronic gems:
- Write a meaningful subject. A subject line like “The site redesign is behind schedule” is much better than “redesign”.
- Get to the point. Summarize the entire message in the first sentence or two. You can provide background info and details in later paragraphs.
- Keep it short. People don’t read long email. If you’re writing a document, do it in a word processor and attach the file.
- Put a single address in the “to” field. Addressing mail to more than one person ensures nobody will do anything. If you really need it to go to two people, consider sending two different messages.
- Be polite. Antiquated though it may be, use greetings and closings in your messages. Politeness is an extension of respect, and people respond to it.