I have talked before about quirks of email in Outlook that really frustrate me. I’ve also included some thoughts on visual communication through the use of tools like Infographics. So, why not share a great article a buddy sent me on common email courtesy? It’s a great article and is spot on for many “rules of the road” in the email universe that are vital in Corporate America now more than ever. Even five years ago, the majority of the workforce (especially the aging populous) could lean on “Oh I’m just not very good at email; I still prefer face to face or phone communication”. Now though – that doesn’t fly. It is vital to be an effective email communicator, and I firmly believe the author of the article (Google Exec Eric Schmidt) shares some very good best practices.
Personally, here are a few of my email management tips, some of which he included as well:
- Be concise, yet get your point across: this goes back to Eric’s thoughts on eliminating useless prose – although I do think there is a place for the personal touch or normal colloquial voice/euphemisms
- Use lists and formatting whenever possible: as I’ve shared before, I’m huge on a bulleted list because I think it forces you to think about what your 3-5 (or a few more) most salient points are and articulate them in a clear and concise manner
- Remember your mobile audience: I would reason to estimate as many as 60% of your audience will first (if not only) see your email on mobile – so limit the enhanced graphics, embedded screen shots, etc
- Best respectful of others’ ability (or lack thereof): following up one day after you send something is largely seen as obnoxious; try to recall your audience and how they typically respond to email before you badger them
I’ll revisit this topic at some point I’m sure, but had to share the article in the short term and give at least a few of my thoughts on the topic!
Til Next Time,