Email in Today’s World

by Jim Chesters

With more and more people writing and responding to email on their mobile devices, brevity has become king.  However, short messages don’t always equal efficient messages.

While being brief is important, it’s also important to write your email with the intent of getting the response you’re looking to receive.  This means following a couple simple steps:

  1. Think.  Consider what you need in a reply from the recipient. Don’t just jump in and start typing, spend a moment to organize your thoughts. A spare moment now could save a few emails back and forth later.
  2. Be clear and direct. Limit your wording to why you’re writing.  State what information you need, what you’re trying to accomplish, and how the recipient can help.  If you’re writing about more than one subject, be sure to clearly separate each concern.
  3. Say more with less.  Avoid repeating comments or providing information more than once.  Consider bolding or underlining important words.  It will help the recipient to quickly scan the email before composing a reply.
  4. Read.  Before sending, read your email once over again to make sure that the recipient has everything that they’ll need to provide a reply that is helpful to you the first time.  For example when emailing for support, this may include stating a specific error message you have received, the exact trouble you’re having, what you expected to happen, and your username.

If you’ve been waiting for a reply from someone and it’s been longer than you expected to wait, it never hurts to check the spam or junk folder of your email.  Aggressive spam filters could hide messages that you actually want to receive.