Corporate employees receive and send more than 100 emails a day on average, and competition for readers’ attention is fierce. Luckily, crafting emails that encourage people to read and act is relatively easy. Before you start typing:
• Put the subject line to work.
Most of us already use our subject line to predict the “what” of the email, e.g. “Monthly Financials.” But it’s also the place to build a personal bridge: “Monthly Financials, per Peter’s request,” or to indicate urgency: “Monthly Financials. Need feedback by Tuesday.”
• Visually highlight the key message.
Clear structure and typographical signaling, like bolding and bullets, will boost the odds that your reader will get your message quickly and respond in ways that meet your goal.
• Time the delivery for maximum impact.
Never send an email at the end of the day or the start of a weekend. Make sure people are opening it at a time when they’re at their desks and have time to read it.
Adapted from “The Art of Irresistible Email,” by Katie Smith Milway.