10 Simple Rules for Effective Email
- Rule 1 Is this email necessary?
- If the answer requires discussion then pick up the phone or get up from your desk.
- Don’t have more than 2 cycles of back and forth between people.
- If the issue is not resolved, get up and have a conversation.
- Rule 2 Don’t copy multiple people on emails.
- Determine the guidelines for CCs, not “just in case”. Don’t ‘Reply All’ unless relevant to all.
- Rule 3 No unnecessary forwarding of attachments.
- Put them on the network or cloud service and use a hyperlink instead for access to the latest copy.
- Rule 4 Create a signature (.SIG) file for the bottom of your emails.
- It makes it easier for people to get in contact with you and looks more professional.
- Rule 5 Don’t change the topic without changing the subject line.
- It’s very difficult to find a specific email if the subject line doesn’t match the content.
- Rule 6 Use the first few sentences as a summary of what is contained below or requested.
- Put the request up front, not at the bottom of a long email. Avoid adding a completely separate topic at the bottom of an email.
- Rule 7 Be brief!
- Nobody wants to read or respond to a 3 page email. Talk to them instead.
- Rule 8 Be clear with who does what by when.
- Don’t request action by somebody who is copied on the email. Make them recipients.
- Rule 9 Check your email only at certain times of the day.
- Email can be a time suck if you allow it. If it’s really important they will call or visit you.
- Rule 10 Remove your name from unwanted mailing lists.
- It takes time to delete unwanted email and important emails can get lost. Unsubscribe instead.
Use These Rules for More Effective Emails!
To read Part I of this article on Effective Meetings click here