10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication

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Improve your business performance with effective communication skills. This eBook from via680 offers ten great tips to effectively power up your email communication skills.

Improve your business performance with effective communication skills. This eBook from via680 offers ten great tips to effectively power up your email communication skills.

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  • 1. 10WAYS TO POWER UP YOUR EMAIL IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS PERFORMANCE WITH EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS COMMUNICATION
  • 2. an ebook created and designed by
  • 3. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 3 People send billions of emails every day. A report by the Radicati Group estimated that 294 billion emails are sent per day (2010). Not only are a lot of emails sent, but these emails also contain a lot of information. An overwhelming 87% of people use email to share information (CMB Consumer Pulse Report). No other means of sharing information even comes close. Facebook is a distant second.
  • 4. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 4 Business professionals deal with hundreds of emails each day. Although email offers us an efficient way to send communications to people without the need to coordinate schedules or set up meetings, standard email often encourages misunderstandings. “According to recent research published in the Journal of Per- sonality and Social Psychology, I’ve only a 50/50 chance of ascer- taining the tone of any email message. The study also shows that people think they’ve correctly interpreted the tone of emails they receive 90 percent of the time.” Source: Stephen Leahy, Wired Magazine
  • 5. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 5 Standard email is the communication method that produces the most misunderstandings. But why?
  • 6. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 6 According to research by Justin Kruger and Nicholas Epley, it has to do with our perception of recipient biases and the environment in which we create emails. When we create email messages, we assume that others think and perceive things the same way that we do. But emails are written in a vacuum without the benefit of interaction. We are victims of our own thoughts without the benefit of sensing the other person’s feelings and intentions, things we would typi- cally recognize through body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. STANDARD EMAIL DISCONNECTS US FROM OUR RECIPIENTS.
  • 7. Email generally suffers from lack of feedback. There is little give and take to the conversation. Blocks of thoughts are created and sent, and blocks of thoughts are returned. Because there is no measurement of understanding, misconceptions flourish and parties involved in the conversations become suspicious of others’ intentions. EMAIL COMMUNICATION IS MISUNDERSTOOD MORE OFTEN THAN FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS OR PHONE CONVERSATIONS. FACT:
  • 8. Standard email accelerates the exchange of information but not always the right type of information. It does not promote the positive social bonds to get things done and disconnects us from our recipients. So what do we do about it? SO WHAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE?
  • 9. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 9 Here are 10 ways you can power up your email communication.
  • 10. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 10 CREATE CLEAR AND UNIQUE SUBJECT LINES 1The subject is the first thing your reader sees, and it can provide substantial clues regarding the content of your email and what action you are expecting. Vague, nondescript subjects such as “Hi” don’t help the reader understand what you are trying to accomplish. Instead, do the follow- ing 3 things: #1 Connect your subject line to your mes- sage. Save “hello” for the body of the email. #2 Be specific. If you are setting a meet- ing at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, include this infor- mation in your subject line rather than just the word “meeting.” #3 Ask for the expected response. Do you want someone to review a document or RSVP for a meeting? State it in the subject: “Please review” or “Please RSVP.”
  • 11. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 11 BE EXTREMELY CIVIL AND OVERLY POLITE 2It is easy to shoot an angry email to some- one but so hard to reverse the damage that is done. It is also easy to be perceived as being uncivil when that wasn’t the intention. Go the extra mile with a personal greeting, “please” and a “thank you” in your email. It will set the right tone for conversations. More specifically, at the beginning of an email, write “Hello Bill” or “Hi Angela” before diving into the subject. When asking for something, use “please.” Yes, I know that it’s common sense, but it’s also commonly forgotten. And don’t write in all caps. It’s the equivalent of YELLING. On those occasions when you really do feel frustrated or angry, consider calling or meet- ing with the person to discuss your differenc- es. Email is not a good medium for resolving conflict because it lacks social interaction.
  • 12. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 12 SCHEDULE TIME TO RESPOND 3Most people respond to incoming emails within six seconds, less time than it takes for the phone to ring three times. This creates a huge disruption in productivity. Employees will switch applications 30 to 40 times per hour to view emails. When you consider that it takes an average of 64 seconds to recover your train of thought after interruption by email, this is 20 hours of wasted time every week! Schedule time to respond to emails by set- ting aside 30 minute blocks of time three to four times a day. This will eliminate a lot of the waste involved in switching between tasks, and it will reduce the anxiety that sur- rounds email for one-third of all people. If you need to, remind yourself that email is not your master. It is simply a tool to make communication easier.
  • 13. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 13 IMPROVE ENGAGEMENT WITH MULTI-MEDIA 4If you have a critical message that needs to stand out from the hundreds of emails bom- barding people every day, you should consid- er enhancing the delivery format beyond just basic text to something more attention-getting. Attachments and links to videos can provide more explanatory power and make your mes- sage more impactful. We are a visual society that responds much better to messages with multi-media compo- nents, like videos, pictures, and surveys. Your best options for engaging your readers involve adding one or more visual stimuli to your text. To put it simply, less words and more visuals.
  • 14. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 14 INCLUDE NON-VERBAL CUES 5Psychologists say that up to 50% of commu- nication is non-verbal. If you like technology and want to take your emails to the next level, include a simple webcam video of yourself dis- cussing the contents of your message. Including video in your email lets recipients see your body language and hand gestures, as well as hear your tone of voice. Instead of recipients having to guess about your emotion or tone, they can see and hear it. Face-to face communication through video eliminates the uncertainty and doubt about your intentions. Your recipients will be able to see if you are concerned or merely seeking information, or if you’re serious or joking.
  • 15. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 15 6 CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING Creating and attaching surveys to your mes- sages can provide you with valuable feedback about comprehension. These surveys also give you the opportunity to focus attention on the right parts of the message. There are also tools that let you gather indi- vidual feedback or aggregate feedback from a group and create reports. The possibilities include: • customer surveys • training assessments • team building • compliance tracking With this information you can send follow-up emails to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
  • 16. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 16 7 USE MESSAGE CONTROL Have you ever sent an email to the wrong per- son? Or maybe you wished you hadn’t written what you did. You’re not alone. Unfortunately, with standard email there is no way to get your message back or prevent the recipient from seeing information not meant for them. You can prevent this awkwardness, though, if you use a system with message- control features. For example, Ving lets you edit or deactivate parts of a message or an entire message with a click of a button. If you forgot to include a docu- ment or made a mistake in your text, you can change it very easily with Ving. In addition, a message may become dated and unimportant over time. With a secure interactive messaging system, you can “turn the message off” so it doesn’t live forever.
  • 17. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 17 8 According to “You Won’t Finish This Article: Why people online don’t read to the end,” most people read only 50% of an email, webpage, online article, etc., before they bounce to the next thing they have to read. This implies that anything too long will just be skipped, skimmed over, or ignored by half of your recipients. KEEP IT SHORT AND SIMPLE Remove all unnecessary information to keep your messages short and focused. For example, if you ask about an update on a project, mention it specifically. Don’t ask “what’s going on with that proposal?” Instead, write “please provide me with a status update on the company proposal we discussed on Thursday.”
  • 18. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 18 9 CREATE AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE When communicating internally, you must make your employees feel something. Emo- tions sell. When people feel, they are more likely to take action. Take a great commercial, for example. Some make you laugh and some make you cry. The point is when you have an emotional connec- tion you pay more attention to the message in front of you. Another way to create an emotional response is to tell a brief story in your messages. Stories have a way of stimulating the listener by al- lowing them to mentally put an image in their minds. When employees are fully engaged with the reason they are doing something, they become more productive, accept change more easily, and may even take on more responsibilities.
  • 19. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 19 10 NEVER RELY JUST ON EMAIL ALONE You have probably heard the old saying “nev- er put all of your eggs in one basket.” This applies to email, too. Never rely on just one channel of communication to get your mes- sage across. If you’re communicating with your employ- ees, for instance, never assume that they’re on the same page with you because you sent them that one email that one time. When managers want to deliver important messages, it’s important to deliver the same message multiple times in different ways (i.e. face-to-face meetings, video messages, phone calls, memos) Recent studies have shown that managers who ask their employees to perform a given task more than once are more successful in completing projects.
  • 20. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 20 Let’s review the 10 ways you can power up your email communication.
  • 21. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 21 The Top 10 1. CREATE CLEAR AND UNIQUE SUBJECT LINES 2. BE EXTREMELY CIVIL AND OVERLY POLITE 3. SCHEDULE TIME TO RESPOND 4. IMPROVE ENGAGEMENT WITH MULTI-MEDIA 5. INCLUDE NON-VERBAL CUES 6. CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING 7. USE MESSAGE CONTROL 8. KEEP IT SHORT AND SIMPLE 9. CREATE AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE 10. NEVER RELY JUST ON EMAIL ALONE
  • 22. 10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 22 About 50% of emails are misunderstood, and a little over 40% of corporate email is ignored. Adding visual elements to your emails (like video messages or pictures) that include non-verbal cues decreases the pos- sibility for misunderstanding and confusion. Standard email accelerates the exchange of information but not always the right type of information. It does not promote the positive social bonds to get things done and disconnects us from our recipients. SOME KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • 23. Standard email hasn’t evolved very much over the past 20 years, but now there are tools available that improve the way we exchange information with each other. These cloud-based tools help your messages stand out from the crowd. Now you can create attention-grabbing messages and also receive data on recipient in- teraction.
  • 24. Ving is an all-in-one communication tool that ensures your most important mes- sages are read, understood, and acted on. With Ving, you create and share multi- media messages that capture real-time recipient interactions viewable on the engagement dashboard. HR professionals use Ving to: ►► Communicate policy updates ►► Streamline onboarding procedures ►► Improve management communications ►► Increase employee engagement ►► Boost compliance training Try Ving for free!
  • 25. www.vingapp.com