When you are writing your emails, are you considering the reader's ease of reading? Think about the types of emails that you respond to quickly vs. the kind you put off until later. Are there any commonalities to the ease of reading? I bet in many instances there are.
It is all too easy to mix important points with extra information. This can make your communication confusing to the reader. Separating the content and questions, rather than having it all roll together makes a big difference in the individual's ability to process what you are saying.
Example – Content together
Hi Joe –
I hope that your trip to Japan was successful. When would you like the finished analysis report? I'm almost done with the base, but need to work in some details on the intro. I know that you sent me the information a week or so ago, but is it still valid after your trip to Japan, or are there changes? Oh and I found a great marketing tool that I will send you soon too. About the design… do you want me to send it directly to the designer, or do you want to do that part yourself?
Example – Content Broken Out
Note the use of numbers too. It makes it easy for someone to respond when you number.
Subject: Please Reply by 07/10/2008 – 3 Questions & Update
Hi Joe –
I hope that your trip to Japan was successful. I look forward to hearing about it. I'm almost done with the base, but need to work in some details on the intro. I also found a great marketing tool that I will send you later today. I have a few questions for you:
- When would you like the finished analysis report?
- Is the information you provided for analysis still current?
- Do you want to review the document prior to going to designer, or do you want me to send it directly to them?
The trip went well. We will review in the status meeting this week.
Which One Do You Think Works?
When you look at the two different choices for communication, which one do you think is easier to read and respond to?
What Do You Do?
What do you do to make your communication clear? How do you like to receive information in your inbox? Share your thoughts with the group! Comment in the comment section at the bottom of this posting on my blog.
To your success!