You Suck at Email
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You Suck at Email

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Unfortunately, you suck at email. After this, you won't.

Unfortunately, you suck at email. After this, you won't.

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You Suck at Email You Suck at Email Presentation Transcript

  • You suck at email.
  • Who is WorkHacks? Accenture -> Undercurrent ->Seth Godin MBA -> Coach -> Tribes Win Manilla twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • The BAD news... You suck at email. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • Yes. All of you. Yup. Even you. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • The GOOD news... You don’t have to suck at email. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • We’re going to teach you... how to NOT SUCK at email. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • twitter.com/workhackswww.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • What we’ll cover today 1. Email is Permanent 2. The From Field 3. The “to”, “cc” and “bcc” fields 4. Subject lines 5. Main points up front 6. Close the loops 7. Bullets, numbers and choices 8. Signatures that work 9. Q&A twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • To drive a car,everyone needs a license. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • If email was driving,you would look like this. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • “When I send an email to one person,there’s a 95 percent chance I’ll get a reply.When I send to ten people, the response rate drops to 5 percent.” - Patrick Lencioni Author, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • twitter.com/workhackswww.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 1. Email is permanent like stone-tablet permanent1. You cant recall an email you didnt mean to send. Some software makes you think you can, but you cant. Not reliably.2. Email lives forever, is easy to spread and can easily show up in discovery for a lawsuit.3. Never email angry.4. Double-check the “to” field. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 2. The “from” field because you should send email as...youMake sure the “From” field is your real name; first andlast. You can test this by looking at the email you sent ona friend’s computer. Test from sending from all yourdevices, including mobile. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject lines how to write subject lines that make doves cryThe subject line of an email is the first chance you have to tell the readerwhy you need their attention. Lots of people waste the subject line. Theyput “hi” or “Meeting tomorrow” or “an idea for you” or worse, nothing atall, the dreaded “no subject”. None of these are useful enough. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject linesTry to fit the ENTIRE email into the subject line Bad for storage units. Good for email. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject lines examples of great subject linesYou have approximately 10-15 words to use to convey the main message:DECISION NEEDED: Picking the new PajamaConf logo todaySCHEDULING: Check Tues. or Wed. 5pm for meeting with Fabi at Chipotle on BroadwayPROMOTION HELP: Looking for some blog and Twitter love for PajamaConf[www.pajamaconf.com] seems offline. You might want to check.POPTECH ACQUISITION DEAL: Should we take it? (from ceo@poptech.com)In these cases, I’ve ALL-CAPPED the major point or action required, and given you a sense of what you’regoing to do next for me. It’s prepping you for what comes next. Just like scary music in a movie means thekiller is in the closet, you know what’s coming next, and so you mentally prepare for it. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject lines Let’s practice... twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject lines How about: twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject lines Let’s practice... twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject lines How about:“How about a call Sunday with you and BJ - say 9am? - my dial in [eom]” twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject lines[eom] or <eom> or eom = End of MessageIt’s a STOP sign for emails. You can stop reading at EOM. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject linesLet’s grade and fix this Inbox twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject linesLet’s grade and fix Matt’s Inbox twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject linesLet’s grade and fix this inbox twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 3. Subject lines NEVER just reply to old emails. Compose a new, awesome subject line. Now you know how.If you get emails with horrible subject lines... FIX them. Everyone will thank you. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 4. Main points up front Be a journalist. Not a novelist.Unlike writing a novel, where you build up to the important stuff,most emails would be better if you put the main points up at the verytop, the way newspaper stories are written.Start with the lead, and then flesh out the details, only as needed. Thisway, someone who’s busy gets the main thing you’re telling them orasking them right away up front.Let’s look at some examples... twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 4. Main points up front Be a journalist. Not a novelist.“We’re going ahead with the deal. To close it, I’ll need you to gather three years offinancials, and have them ready by Friday.”“I’m looking to meet with you while you’re in town. I’m available at the following times.”“My new blog about NYC real estate launches tomorrow, and I’m looking for some linklove.”“I’ve got a client who wants to launch a social media strategy. Can you fly to Phoenix fora Thursday meeting?”In these examples, the recipient understand that an action isrequested, and can even understand what comes next in all caseswithout reading much more. The supporting info is great, but they canguess most of what’s necessary right there. One line in, and they’ve gotthe gist. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 5. Close the loops. Coffee is for closers. Loop closers.We leave open loops in email all the time: places that can revolve back and forth in email circlesfor five or seven spins. For example, try to plan a lunch with seven coworkers. If you have eightrestaurants, it will take something like 30 emails if people follow the average paths. Too manyopen-ended questions, and too much up-in-the-air to nail down. Look at these two examples: twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 5. Close the loops. Coffee is for closers. Loop closers.Open Loop: “Let’s get together for lunch. What day is good? Where do you want to go?Should we invite other departments or keep it a team meeting?”Closed Loop: “Let’s get together for lunch. I’m thinking Thursday at 11:30 (to avoid the rush)at Chotchky’s. Let’s keep it just a team lunch this time, but maybe next time, we’ll invite others.Work for you?”The differences are obvious. Know why people don’t send the closed loop type email? They’reworried that they seem bossy. Here’s the truth: most times, most people don’t really care aboutthe details. If you recommend, it will come out quickly that Michael is off Thursday soWednesday is better, and Samir is allergic to seafood, etc. Closing the loops early helpseveryone.Closed loop email means to me that you’ve taken back-and-forth cycles out of the process. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 6. • Bullets • Numbers and • Choices Run out of bullets?Take them from your presentations. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 6. • Bullets • Numbers and • ChoicesMake it easy for people to reply to your email. If there are summarypoints from a meeting, use bullets (not just new sentences) todifferentiate the points.If a decision is required among a set of choices, make it easy bynumbering them.Examples:1.End all negotiations and terminate contract.2.Respond with counter-proposal3.Execute contract. (If this is chosen, please also email signed contract.) twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 7. Signatures that work. Short but functional. Like Christina Ricci.Make sure that the criticalsignature information (phonenumber, not logo) is in your reply.This can have different nuances viaplatforms like iPhone &BlackBerry twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 7. Signatures that work.Short but functional. Like Christina Ricci. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 7. Signatures that work.Short but functional. Like Christina Ricci. twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • 8. Reply All. When should you do it? Almost never.Ten questions to ask before you hit reply all:*1) Someone transmits good news to ten people.  Do the other nine people really need to hear you say "Great news!"?2) Do you need information from one member of the group before replying?  Is there someone in the group you should probably check with before you agreeto something?   If so, take the conversation off-line.3) Does this really need to be a group conversation in the first place?4) The organizer of a block party asks if anyone has a folding table they can lend.   Does the whole block need to know that you cant? (No.)  If you have one,would it be useful for everyone to know that the problem is now solved. (Yes.). Does anyone else need to respond after that? (No.)5) The organizer of a meeting asks if everyone is available Weds at 10 am.  You have a conflict, but can suggest some alternatives.  Does the whole group needto see those, and start weighing in?  Or can the organizer collect the responses, and propose a new time he thinks will work?6) The Golden Rule: Do unto others.  Would you want all those useless (to you) messages in you already cluttered inbox?7) Multiply.  The number of people on the list x the number of times you reply-all = the number of annoyances you have sent into the world.  With your nameattached.8) A harder one: everyone else has replied all to say congratulations.  The group does not need to hear you say the same, but you worry that youll be the onlyone who didnt.  Do you chime in?9) Rule of thumb: Do not reply all to anything sent to a mailing list.10) Last: Notice how much youve eliminated from your inbox, by preventing all those unnecessary replies?* This list compiled by former WorkHacks client and world-class literary agent Stuart Krichevsky (@skagency) twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • Bonus tools for GMail users: twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • Bonus tools for GMail users: twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks
  • Congratulations!You no longer suck at email! twitter.com/workhacks www.getworkhacks.com facebook.com/workhacks