I was writing this for a magazine and thought, hey, I could share this on our blog too.
Here are 5 email tips you can use if you want your email to stand out in a crowded inbox.
1. Have a catchy subject line – even if it is a forward!
This is tip number one. Too many people forward emails but disregard the subject line. Who wants to read an email that has too many “FW:” in the subject line? Think of a catchy subject line that will appeal to your friends or customers because this will get your email opened and read. To stand out in a world where emails are often flooding inboxes, a catchy subject like “Here are top 5 email tips you have to read” sure beats “email tips”. Oh yeah, and erase the “FW:” if you can. Nothing’s more annoying that seeing a subject line with “FW:FW:FW:FW….”. While you’re at that, you can also erase all the other people’s email addresses often found in annoying forwards!
2. Use bullets
If you are emailing something lengthy and complicated, do your recipient a favour and break it up for the recipient by using bullet points. This makes reading the email faster. Plus he will understand the email and get back to you faster too!
3. Write short paragraphs
Email is not meant for lengthy treatises but many do treat it as such! To prevent the recipient from falling asleep while digesting your email, keep it easy on their eyes. Reading online is much slower than conventional print reading so keeping paragraphs shorter (1 idea per paragraph) helps a lot!
4. Always get to the point
Don’t waffle in emails. Always state your reason for writing upfront. Email is meant to be a direct communication channel so get to the point fast. This calls for the inverted pyramid style used in journalism and what do you know, it works for email too!
Not sure what an inverted pyramid style is? Basically it’s just putting the most important information in the beginning and the least important information in the end. So even if the reader reads the first paragraph and disregards the rest, he’ll still understand the email!
5. Have mini headlines within the email text
If you cannot trim your email down to manageable chunks of short text, then try making it easy to read by including mini headlines within the email text. But of course each mini headline has to be meaningful and make sense to the recipient especially if he chooses only to read the mini headlines! This is understandable as people generally don’t read word for word online; they usually scan email text just like they scan website text.
Do you have secret tips for email? Share please! 😉