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Write reader-friendly emails with these 10 tipsStijn Schutyser
We’re all tired of getting emails that
- should have been a phone call or short face-to-face conversation,
- is full of important information and yet hard to read,
- is too easy to miss between the rest of the unread emails.
So how can you improve your emails to engage your readers more and ultimately get more and better leads? Here’s 10 tips on how to make your emails reader-friendly.
4. Address your reader personally
Email is a pretty personal medium. Reader will therefore rather read emails that are written just for them. With that in mind, you’ll want to be sparse when it comes to distributing lots of copies of the same email. Also, start your message with a personal salutation (like in print letters).
5. Don’t make a fuss
Are you angry? Upset? You might want to hold off on pressing that ‘send’ button. Take a breather, come to your senses and think it over once more. The internet is not a suitable medium to get into fights. THAT’S WHY YOU DON’T WANT TO PUT YOUR EMAIL IN ALL CAPS: IT SEEMS LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING AT YOUR READER. Don’t overdo it on the exclamation marks either!!!!!!!
6. Take your time
Email is a fast medium. You quickly type your message, hit the ‘send’ button and within a couple of seconds your email ends up in someone’s inbox, anywhere. Taking your time for writing an email is a sign of respect towards your reader. Also take your time to rid your text of typos and crooked sentences. Always reread your emails before you send them. Did you tell your reader everything you wanted to? Did you spell everything correctly? Using a spell checker makes this a lot easier.
7. Be careful when using abbrevs, symbols and 🙂
Abbreviations are writer-friendly, not necessarily reader-friendly. It takes less effort to type them, but more effort to process them. Some abbreviations might even be confusing. Always make sure your reader understands all your abbreviations and symbols. In professional contexts, (some) smileys or emoticons might be not done. Best to avoid them if you’re not sure.
10. Reply quickly
Like I said before, email is a fast medium. Whoever sends you an email, hopes for a quick response and most of the time expects it, too. Quick means within 24 hours. Sometimes you are unable to quickly, yet completely answer the sender. In that case, send a message telling the sender that you’re on the case and when you’ll be able to respond fully.
Checklist for reader-friendly emails
- Is the email necessary?
- Is the subject clear?
- Are you as brief as possible?
- Is the reader addressed personally?
- Did you write your email with a clear head?
- Did you reread your message and correct all typos/sentences?
- Are your abbreviations and other symbols clear?
- Have you checked whether attachments open correctly?
- Did you put the most important information first?
- Are you ready to answer within 24h?
So, have these tips worked for you or do you have tips of your own for us? Let us know in the comments down below!