With the hundreds or even thousands of messages that land in people’s in-boxes every week, many e-mails get passed over. Writing a messgae that actually gets read can be a challenge.
The best way to get e-mails skipped over: Bury the important info. Key points should go where recipients are most likely to see them — the subject line.
The subject line should include specifics, and if applicable, an action step. People will be more likely to open an e-mail if they know there’s something they need to do. And if they don’t, they’ll at least see the most important point without opening it.
Some pointers for the body of the message:
- Put the key stuff first — Once the e-mail’s opened, no one will keep reading if the beginning is full of fluff.
- Use lists – When you have a lot of ideas to get across, it might be easier for the audience if they’re broken down into bullet points.
- Be careful with the “urgent” flag — If that label is used too often, it quickly loses its effect. Recipients will remember.
- Proofread — This is an important step that’s easy to forget. A good way to remind yourself: Don’t fill in the “To” field until the e-mail’s done. That way you won’t accidentally click send until you’ve finished and read over the message.