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.
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
10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 5
Standard email is the communication
method that produces the most
misunderstandings. But why?
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
STANDARD EMAIL DISCONNECTS US
FROM OUR RECIPIENTS.
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.
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?
10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 9
Here are 10 ways you can power
up your email communication.
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
#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.”
10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 11
BE EXTREMELY CIVIL AND
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
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.
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
10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 13
IMPROVE ENGAGEMENT WITH
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
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
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.
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
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-
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.
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.”
10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 18
9 CREATE AN EMOTIONAL
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
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.
10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 19
10 NEVER RELY JUST ON
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-
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
10 Ways to Power Up Your Email Communication 20
Let’s review the 10 ways you can power up
your email communication.
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
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
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-
Ving is an all-in-one communication tool
that ensures your most important mes-
sages are read, understood, and acted
With Ving, you create and share multi-
media messages that capture real-time
recipient interactions viewable on the
HR professionals use Ving to:
►► Communicate policy updates
►► Streamline onboarding
►► Improve management
►► Increase employee engagement
►► Boost compliance training
Try Ving for free!