Despite the popularity of texting
and social media, email remains
the most common form of written
communication in the business
world--and the most commonly
abused. Too often email
messages snap, growl, and bark--
as if being concise meant that you
had to sound bossy. Not so.
How to Write an E-mail
that Gets Results
Send your e-mail at the right time.
Write effective subject lines.
Keep it short.
Respect e-mail etiquette.
Make the recipient want to respond.
Use the right tone.
Confirm and chronicle your
Proofread like an editor.
Set up a strong e-mail signature.
Keep it professional with these 7 tips.
Remember that Big Brother is
Keep your email productive.
How to Write an E-mail that
Send Your E-mail at the Right Time
Only 20 percent to 40 percent of
your emails will actually get
opened, though most of your
subject lines will be seen.
As more people go to their mobile
devices to read email -- of those
that do, 43% check email four or
more times per day.
Mobile email usage is at its lowest
on Monday, desktop email usage
is at its lowest on Sunday, and
webmail email usage is at its
lowest on Wednesday.
Set expectations for
and provide a
State what the e-mail
Be short, specific and
Communicate Subject Lines Clearly
Subject Lines Need a Keyword
Action: Please Sign and Return Proposal by 4:00pm Today
Question: Did you receive the updated meeting minutes for
Review by (date): Please review all new company
emergency procedures by 4/15/13 before the 3:00pm meeting
FYI: Will be on vacation 4/15/ to 4/25
Decision Needed: Are we continuing morning prayer in our
Approval Needed: Employee Attendance at Public Relations
Convention July 15, 2013
Poor Subject Lines
Subject lines with all capital letters portray a feeling of yelling
“NEW ATTENDANCE POLICY!!!!!!!!!!”
Generic subject lines can be boring and very easy to overlook
Symbols may seem friendly, but depend heavily on your audience
“Get Ready for New Store Hours :O)!”
Stick to one topic. If you need
to write to someone about several
different issues, don’t put them all in
the same email. (i.e. Steve Jobs)
Put your main point in the opening
sentence. Most readers won't stick
around for a surprise ending.
Imagine writing your message on
the back of a business card - if it
won’t fit, it’s too long.
Join the Five Sentences movement
and include the following in your
email signature: "Q: Why is this email
five sentences or less? A:
Keep it Short: Stick to One Topic
Make the Recipient WANT to
Tell them how it will benefit them
(i.e. free advertising,).
Identify and address their concerns
(i.e. Are they worried about a
decrease in sales or donations? Are
they looking for ways to cut back on
spending or to eat healthier?)
Tell them what you are going to do
unless you hear back from them by
a certain time. This makes their
response optional. (i.e.“Unless you
reply by noon tomorrow, I will
assume that the proposal meets
with your approval and send it on to
Reply promptly to serious messages.
If you need more than 24 hours to
collect information or make a decision,
send a brief response explaining the
Responding ASAP shows
integrity and trust
Replying & Responding
Respect E-mail Etiquette
Dear Title, Last Name:
Dear Dr. Morrison:
Hi, Hello, Dear First Name,
Hi John, OR Dear John,
Mary C. Fricke, Manager of Talent Sourcing and
Staffing at GE Capital Real Estate talking to Fairfield
University students about e-mail etiquette.
Use The Right Tone
Be polite and courteous. "I greatly
appreciate the time and energy you
Don't use ALL CAPITALS (no
shouting!), or all lower-case letters
either (unless you're e. e. cummings).
Don’t flame. If you get upset with
someone’s email wait until you cool
off to respond — if at all.
Read it aloud and listen.
Use the right words. "Would you be
so kind as to..." "Since I know your
time is valuable...
Pronouns Affect Tone
You, I, me, my, mine, we, us, ours, he, she, it, they, them, his, yours hers, its, their, theirs
Choose Pronouns Carefully :
You didn’t send the check by the deadline. vs. We didn’t receive the check by the deadline.
You must enroll by June 1st. vs. Employees must enroll by June 1st.
We encourage you to read and follow Internet guidelines. vs. The University encourages all faculty to
read and understand Internet safety guidelines.
As a general rule,
PLZ avoid abbreviations
& acronyms You may be
ROFLOL (rolling on the floor
laughing out loud), but your
reader may be left
(what's up with that).
Use Abbreviations & Acronyms
Confirm and Chronicle Your
Chronicle Your Communications for reference.
Confirm both parties actions to avoid misunderstandings and create a
record of historical and legal value:
"Per our meeting/phone call this afternoon, I will be responsible
It is important to remember that CC’ing means that every
recipient gets to know the email addresses of all the
persons that received your message
Keep in mind this may not be desirable for all parties
Full CC fields don’t have a great appearance and can
overshadow the text in the email
Proofread Like an Editor
Run spell check/grammar check.
Use a ruler and read line-by-line.
Verify attachments are the
correct version, have been
proofread, and are attached.
Be Wary of AutoCorrect!
On Apr 1, 2013, at 10:51 AM, <Student X> wrote:
I have attached my resume and cover letter. I apologize for
the tardiness, I forgot to send this to you last week. See you
in class tonight.
Please bring hard copies to class for your groins yes to
peer review. Thanks.
Sent from my iPhone
How to Handle Email Crisis
Handle a mistake in an email on a case to case basis
If you send a correction email with the mistakes fixed, make
sure you include a subject line explaining the situation and
Keep in mind they may not realize the email included errors; if
so, do your best not to draw attention to the mistakes
Set Up a Strong Email Signature
End with a complimentary
and formal closing.
Keep it short, simple and
Use WiseStamp to set
yourself above your
Example of Effective
Plain Text Email
President | Top Web Design USA
End with a Complimentary and Formal
Communicates kindness, humility, positive
energy and a knowledge of proper etiquette.
Choose one that fits you:
a.Very truly yours,
i.With many thanks,
Use your formal name to demonstrate
professionalism and business savvy:
Keep It Short, Simple And Necessary
Keep it short (5 lines or less).
Include important contact
information only: your name, title,
company, phone(s), fax, email, URL,
and social media links (choose the
top 3 that represent you and/or your
business). Clarify best way to reach
Avoid alternate font types, and
colors. Keep the signature as plain
text with minimal images (i,e. your
Consider using a quote only if it is
appropriate for your field and
demonstrates your credibility.
"Celebrating 10 Years in Business"
Refrain from combining into a large
image that will increase file size.
Design your signature with
WiseStamp.com (WiseStamp is a
web browser extension which
enables users to design their e-mail
signatures and include social
profiles and dynamic Email Apps)
Keep It Professional With These
Use an address that is clearly and professionally you. Ex:
Wait to fill out the "To" field until your message is complete.
Avoid humor, especially sarcasm.
Respond in a calm state, not angry or frustrated.
Be friendly. Ex: "I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed this beautiful weather!"
Return e-mails in a timely manner.
Remember That Big Brother is Watching
Employers own their internal e-
mail systems and have the
right to monitor what you write
and to whom (check your HR
Any e-mail at work can be
saved, stored, forwarded, and
most significantly, intercepted.
Always remember that your e-mail could be forwarded
to people you did not intend to receive it.
Ask yourself:“Does my email
ask the reader to do anything? If
not, why am I sending it?”
Assume nothing. Let the reader
know what thinking has gone on
behind the scenes. When following
up, don’t assume everyone
remembers everything you’ve said.
If you’ve got any worries that an
acronym, term, or reference is
going to elicit a confused moment,
just explain it.
Doublecheck Before You Hit Send
You Know Email is Hindering Your
Workplace Productivity if You:
Rely too much on email to communicate messages with
workplace associates that could easily and succinctly be
shared over the phone or in person.
Are frequently distracted from completing the key tasks of
Come into work early, stay late, or check emails from
home or on vacation to “catch up.”
Find most of your day is shot at least several mornings a
week when you open your inbox to find an urgent issue
that needs your immediate attention.
Ask a colleague to proofread your email before you send
Dread opening your inbox to countless emails and trying
to decipher which ones you should open and respond to
Know that the time you spend reading unnecessary
emails = loss of time and money.
Interesting Email Productivity Facts:
One Wall street CEO estimated that out of
the 1,000 emails he receives daily, he
reads only 11%.
Knowledge Sector employees spend as
much as half of their day on messaging
On average, an employee checks his or
her email 36 times per hour.
It takes approximately 16 minutes to
refocus after reviewing incoming emails.
10 IQ points are lost when consistently
fielding emails (the same as missing a full
Tips to Keep Emailing Productive
Sort and prioritize messages: Set up email
rules and filters to avoid being distracted by
irrelevant messages. You can filter your personal
emails from your professional ones.
Keep responses short and sweet: Include
only necessary information when composing
Stick to a schedule: It’s important to respond
to emails efficiently, however, it is essential to
Schedule a designated time to check
emails: don’t open them first thing and don’t
make it more than once an hour.
Create email templates: Templates will
make the general task of responding to an
email much more efficient. Templates allow
you to easily add personal touches and
information much more quickly than starting
A Quick Note:
To Text, Or Not To Text
Identify whether recipient is "text
Recognize texting shouldn't replace
other forms of communication.
Use your text to:
Schedule a call or a time to
Could we meet at 4 in the lobby to go
over this week’s agenda?
Spell all words out.
I am looking forward to next week’s
presentation, we are well prepared.
Keep your message positive.
I thought our presentation went well. I
have some ideas for improvement for
Stick to business and avoid
NO: Awesome, cool, sweet
YES: Great. Sounds good.
Refrain from using your text to:
Send a question you can
Google. Does the new client have a
Fun Facts About Emails
11,680 emails are sent to the average worker per
Out of all emails that make it into the inbox:
14% are critical work emails
28% are essential e-mails
24% are functional work emails
16% are low-level work emails
10% are personal emails
8% are spam or useless emails
How Much Time is Spent on Emails
50% is not spent on email
22% other email activities (searching,
15% reading e-mails
13% writing e-mails