Over the last 24 years, email has become an indispensable tool for communicating with co-workers and clients. We use it every day to set appointments, forge connections, and make our voices heard. While its prime convenience is a boon in day-to-day operations, we can often fire off a quick reply (or a dreaded reply all) at the expense of our communication quality. If you'd like to take a close look at upping your email writing prowess, try implementing the tips below.
Clarity is Key
At some point, most of us receive an email with a cryptic subject. Maybe it reads ominously, something like "meeting ok..." or maybe it's an all-caps "TUESDAY COFFEE" situation. Either way, you have no idea what the message is going to be about until you open it.
To avoid confusion, always make your email subjects as straightforward as possible. Keywords can include attachments, events, names, or a brief phrase describing what the email is about. Consider these sample subjects:
- Follow Up with Charlotte Stark on Wednesday
- Sample Prospectus 03.14.19
- Company Anniversary Planning Meeting Notes
- Questions About the Upcoming Meeting
Consider what you or your recipient may need to type into the email search bar to find this email in the future and try to choose keywords that would help the search. Keeping your email subject free of all capital letters, URLs, and exclamation points will also help stop your emails from being marked as Spam by email filters.
Don't Say Anything in Private You Wouldn't Want Going Public
Many Financial Advisors use email as their main mode of interpersonal communication. A one-on-one email chain can feel like the most private conversation in the world...until a message you sent in confidence gets forwarded to someone you never intended to see it. While some sensitive conversations can't be skipped, try to never send anything in an email you wouldn't be comfortable sharing with everyone else in your network. This can be critique of a peer's work or personality, compromising information about your business, or any other not-so-positive email content.
Try to have touchy conversations face-to-face or over the phone rather than on a shareable email exchange. This gives you the added bonus of instantly being able to clarify your statements and ensure the other party completely understands the tone of your delivery.
Email Tag, You're It
Try to remain aware of email chains that drag on forever. After one or two emails requiring clarification questions, pick up the phone and call the recipient. This will ensure that both of your inboxes won't be cluttered with unnecessary back and forth. If you need something in writing for your records, send a follow up email restating what was discussed over the phone and ask for confirmation of its correctness. This will save everyone time, confusion, and give you better references for the future.
There you have it - 3 tips for upping your email game. If you're looking to increase clarity and your own communication skills, try implementing these skills into your daily practice.Subscribe to the Dunham Blog