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e-mail tips


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13 questions about the use of e-mail. Research included.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Thank you very much, Palle, for your comments. I appreciate it. Kind regards, Frank
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  • Good advice, some of it, but regarding #7: sometimes I am SHOUTING, to try to wake up the recipient;-)
    And regarding #3, I must disagree. Email isn't meant to be only short messages - it was in the beginning, but isn't used as such any more. It would take far too long time to write your memo or note, upload it to a web service, and then email a short message with a link to someone, only for them to use even more time trying to make the link work, download the memo etc. That process has far too many stations to be effective.
    If people try to read it on a smart-phone it doesn't make it easier that they have to download a document etc.
    Only when You are working on a common document in a web-folder it is most convenient to file a message with a link, whenever You have changed it.
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e-mail tips

  1. 1. e-mail tips
  2. 2. Question # 1 How can we avoid using ”cc”?
  3. 3. Every 100 people needlessly copied on an e-mail results in 8 hours of lost productivity, when accounting for the time it takes people to read, delete and return to work.
  4. 4. Hi leaders, how important is it for you to want to be copied on every e-mail that people, whom you serve, send? How much in control do you need to be?
  5. 5. Further inspiration
  6. 6. Question # 2 How can we avoid writing in CAPITALS?
  8. 8. Question # 3 How short is your e-mail?
  9. 9. If you need to write an e-mail, make it brief.
  10. 10. People are more helpful when they’re given clear directions on how to contribute. Example One student got an answer from then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt by asking him when in his life he was happiest. Schmidt responded: “Tomorrow.”
  11. 11. Question # 4 How relevant is the e-mail subject line?
  12. 12. Use the subject line to summarize the e-mail. Sources
  13. 13. When people are busy, the emails that get read are the ones with practical subject lines. Example ”How to get to the event location in Beijing.”
  14. 14. Question # 5 How can we avoid abbreviations?
  15. 15. Are you sure that the e-mail recipient is aware of the meanings of the abbreviations you use?
  16. 16. Question # 6 How is the language in your e-mail?
  17. 17. Further inspiration
  18. 18. Question # 7 How well do you serve the person you communicate with?
  19. 19. Problem: We tend to be overly focused on ourselves and our own goals.
  20. 20. Question # 8 Do you know where the recipient of your e-mail is?
  21. 21. Before writing ”have a good afternoon” in an e-mail, consider in which time zone the person, you send the e-mail to, is
  22. 22. Further inspiration
  23. 23. Question # 9 How often do you check your e-mails?
  24. 24. A study shows that regaining our initial momentum following an interruption can take, on average, upwards of 20 minutes.
  25. 25. Further inspiration
  26. 26. Question # 10 How good are you at keeping your inbox clean?
  27. 27. # 1: Delete. Delete any messages you don't need to read or keep. # 2: Respond. Reply to messages that can be handled immediately. # 3: Archive. If it’s a task for someone else, archive the e-mail. 3 actions to keep your inbox clean
  28. 28. When executives at a London-based firm reduced the number of e-mails they sent, other employees did as well.
  29. 29. If you’re a leader, your actions influence the culture. If you choose to refrain from sending late night e-mails, people whom you serve won’t feel pressured to check their devices. Adapted from
  30. 30. Question # 11 What would happen if we reduce the use of e-mail?
  31. 31. Sources The companies Atos, Klick, and Exformatics stopped using internal e-mails.
  32. 32. People, who work for, do not send e-mail on weekends.
  33. 33. An increasing number of company leaders are banning or at least restricting email. Research shows it works: Banning or putting restrictions on email can dramatically increase individual productivity and reduce stress.
  34. 34. The most damaging cost of thoughtless e-mail: It prevents us from doing our best work.
  35. 35. Question # 12 Instead of sending an attachment, what about sending a link?
  36. 36. Question # 13 What about using social media instead of e-mail?
  37. 37. A 5 minute chat may be more efficient than crafting a message that adequately explains the situation.
  38. 38.
  39. 39. The instant you read emotion in their response, or feel it yourself - change mediums. Even a phone call lets you hear nuances in tone, silences, and other data that help you address emotions. Skype or video conferencing gives you even more information.
  40. 40. People, who work for Automattic, the company that runs Wordpress, rarely use email. Instead they use internal blogs, chat rooms, and Skype.