Let’s take a few minutes to optimize our EMAIL COMMUNICATION. More and more of our communication is shifting to the ONLINE world these days, including social media, video-conferencing (Zoom!), and email.
(image: Unsplash @ samish_18)
Read on to learn important email communication tips:
- How to nail the title
- Signing off with style
- The #1 tip for managing your inbox stress…
? ? ?
Email Communication: THE TITLE
(image: Unsplash @ bell2000a)
It’s worth considering the title of your emails. If the title isn’t ideal then at best you’re missing a communication opportunity. At worst, your email might not be opened at all!
(image: Unsplash @ hannes)
A few pointers to nail your email communication starting with the title:
- BE RESPECTFUL – Keep it short and make it specific.
- URGENCY – If it’s truly urgent, then mark it as urgent (!!) and title it as such: “URGENT: title here.” (But don’t be “the boy who cried wolf/urgent”…)
- RESPONSE REQUIRED – The recipient may appreciate you flagging that a response is required: “PLS RESPOND: print & sign.”
- EMOJIs – An emoji might help your email get noticed, but keep it to one max. and don’t use emojis in formal, professional emails. ?
- DATES – Meeting reminders and other scheduling emails should include the date in the title: “Tues, Oct. 3 noon: lunch meeting”
Email Communication: CLOSING YOUR EMAIL
How do you close your emails? There are two parts of closing an email:
- The Customized Sign-off (as in “Talk soon, Andrea”)
- Your Contact Information (at the bottom of every email)
(image: Unsplash @ reneefisherandco)
1️⃣ The Customized Sign-off
RULE#1: The email communication sign-off should be customized or personalized for each email.
- Do not set up your email signature to include your closing. Otherwise it will be less-than-ideal -or possibly very wrong- for some email recipients! (Generally you’d want to sign off differently for your boss vs. a prospective client vs. your buddy, right?)
- Typically we’re talking about 2-3 WORDS here (the sign-off and your name, e.g. “Best, Andrea”), so it’s not a lot of effort!
Tips for choosing your sign-off
- In some ways, it was so much easier when we used to handwrite letters. “Sincerely” was always a-ok, right? How do you close your emails? There are so many options!
When choosing your email communication sign-off, ask yourself: Is it Professional? Positive? Relevant & appropriate for the context of the email? Here are a few suggestions:
- “Regards,” is professional, neutral, impersonal
- “Best,” is professional, positive, succinct
- “Take care,” (or “Stay safe“) is especially appropriate these days!
- “Thank you,” works if you are thankful!
- “Looking forward to …” again, works if you are looking forward to something.
- “Warmly,” is weird. Yes weird. Who talks like that? I can’t imagine why you would sign off with a temperature. (Andrea’s pet peeve, perhaps?)
- More HERE
(image: Unsplash @ ecees)
2️⃣Your Contact Information
This is the contact information that you include at the bottom of every email you send. You can set this up in the PREFERENCES or OPTIONS menu of your email provider.
Set up this contact information in a contained block immediately after your signature, not at the bottom of a strong of emails. That way you can delete it if necessary and you won’t end up with a bunch of redundant contact information at the bottom of the long string!
Of course you want to include your NAME and TITLE in email communication. What else?
- LOGOS – are fine, but not too big
- EMAIL ADDRESS – is not needed. (They already have that, right?!?)
- MAILING ADDRESS & PHONE NUMBER – may be necessary for some professions. Consider whether you’re ok with people knowing this information and forwarding it to strangers.
- LINKS – are a great idea to promote yourself, but not too many links! Suggestions: your firm’s homepage, social media profiles, your latest podcast (!), the latest white paper you wrote…
- LEGAL MUMBO JUMBO – may be required if your lawyers insist. If possible, decrease the font size and fade the font to a lighter grey colour.
Email Communication: CONQUERING INBOX STRESS
Does your inbox stress you out? Do you ever miss important emails?
That used to happen to me. So I did a bunch of research on email communication. Then I created a podcast episode and a FREE ONLINE COURSE to help us manage our email stress! (Note this course is only available to newsletter subscribers – like YOU!)
Based on all this research and my personal experience, here’s my #1 piece of advice for managing email communication stress:
Turn off NOTIFICATIONS
and BATCH your email time
Does that sound like two things? It’s really one. It’s about purposefully managing your email time. Here’s what to do:
- Turn off all notifications for email. That means no sounds, no pop up windows, no red circles with the number of unread emails on any of your devices. Nothing!
- (Bonus points if you move the mail app icon to the second screen on your phone – so you don’t even see the app when you grab your phone. Double bonus points if you do the same with your social media apps!)
- Batch your email communication time. Go through your email only 2-3 times per day, with purpose! Triage email immediately: Act, File or Delete. BAM.
If you haven’t taken the free “HOW TO CONQUER YOUR EMAIL” course yet, I hope you will. I promise it works!
That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed last week’s ?podcast on STORYTELLING with Bobby Umar.
Do you follow Bobby on Twitter yet? I think I was follower number 474,500. Yes, he has a lot of followers! He also has a positive tone on Twitter, which is rare and which I definitely appreciate. ? Thank you, Bobby!
Have a great week!
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach
P.S. – I’m on a mission to increase the audience for this newsletter. PLEASE forward this newsletter to your friends who would like to improve their Communication Skills.
Most Recent ?Podcast Episodes: