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Email Tips: Top 10 Strategies for Writing Effective Email

Follow these email etiquette tips in order to write more effective email.

While Milennials typically prefer texting, the improvised, back-and-forth pattern we expect of texting conversations differs greatly from the pre-planned, more self-contained messages most office workers expect when exchanging emails with professional contacts.

The parties in a text message conversation expect multiple rapid exchanges, asking for clarification and providing corrections on the fly. Generally, you are texting somebody you already know well, about a shared interest, so you don’t need to provide much context, and the subject of the conversation will evolve quickly.

But email is usually the way professional offices get their work done. Most professionals who get 20 or 50 or 200 emails a day do not want to engage in a leisurely back-and-forth; they want to clear this item from their inbox, perhaps by delegating it to an assistant or kicking it upstream, and then move on to their next task, without having to ask the sender “What did you mean by X” or “Remind me again why we aren’t doing Y?”

Jessica Bauer and Dennis G. Jerz

Writing Effective Email: Top 10 Tips

  1. Write a meaningful subject line.
  2. Keep the message focused.
  3. Avoid attachments.
  4. Identify yourself clearly.
  5. Be kind — don’t flame.
  6. Proofread.
  7. Don’t assume privacy.
  8. Distinguish between formal and informal situations.
  9. Respond Promptly.
  10. Show Respect and Restraint.

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