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Subject: For action – Learn to write better emails

August 18, 2011

Love it or loath it email is the most widely used communication tool in the corporate world.

According to web monitoring service Royal Pingdom, 1.9 billion people sent 107 trillion emails last year!

Quantity of communication, of course, doesn’t equate to quality or effective communication.

A huge proportion of these emails would have been spam or other junk email. But, even taking these out of the equation, it’s not usual for business leaders to receive over 50 to 60 emails a day.

As I’m sure you’re aware, receiving 60 emails a day isn’t much fun, but if you’re one of the senders of those emails and it is really important your message is received, understood and acted on – how can you cut through?

The internet is awash with top tips and etiquette about email – much of it is sound but the real key to cutting through and getting the result you need is in the thinking you put in before starting to write it.

Rather than starting by writing down everything you want to tell the recipient, write down exactly what it is that you want them to think or do when they receive it. In other words, be really clear about what outcome you need from the email.

Try it. Once you have your objective firmly in mind, finding the right words and relevant content comes much easier and you’ll end up with a shorter, sharper and more effective email.

And to make sure your email gets noticed, think of the subject line as a newspaper headline – it makes it clear what the email is about even before it is opened!

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