Writing Effective Email Messages

We’ve been using email for a very long time.  It seems as if we should have gotten the art of writing an email message down to a fine art.  However, Wired Magazine has some good reminders for those of us that need quick responses:

  • Brevity — The shorter it is, the more likely it will be read.
  • Context — If I don’t know you, tell me how you got my name; be sure you subject line reflects the message; when replying, keep the thread or at least the part of the thread you are replying to.
  • Something to act on – A request for action should be in a single paragraph, possibly with bullets. Make it stand out.
  • Deadline — If there is a deadline for the response, state it.

There’s additional explanation in the article and it’s short — a good read!


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