Are you not getting the solutions you need in your e-mail? You’re going mistaken right here, in accordance with an skilled
More time than ever is being spent writing emails during the coronavirus pandemic, but as one expert points out, few of us are actually trained to use them effectively.
Even before the Covid-19 triggered remote working, people were spending a lot of time emailing – an average of six years over the course of their lives.
That’s according to a 2019 study by software giant Adobe, referenced by business and marketing consultant Kim Arnold in her book, Email Attraction: Get What You Want Every Time You Send. That is longer than the time one spends in the course of one’s life eating, socializing or vacationing, emphasized Arnold.
Even so, she pointed out that no one receives formal training on how to write emails. And with the craze for video calling declining, getting email right has never been more important.
In fact, Arnold told CNBC over the phone that email was a bit of an “unsung hero” amid the pandemic, while the video conferencing app Zoom was seen as a “flagship” for virtual communication over the past year.
“We don’t really know what a powerful tool it can be, especially right now,” she said.
In the past, Arnold stated that while employees used email primarily to exchange information, it is now also used to build professional relationships when there are no face-to-face meetings.
With that in mind, Arnold shared the following tips for creating the perfect email for productive conversations in the workplace.
Establish a connection
People tend to “autopilot” when sending emails, Arnold said, and quickly fired messages without really engaging our brains.
“We don’t really make such connections, and when we work remotely we have to make those connections,” she said, describing email as “talking with a pause”.
She advised people to imagine what the first thing they would say if the person they were emailing sat across from them.
“Very often we find that it’s not something like ‘I hope this email finds you safe and sound’ or ‘Please find the above report in the attachment’,” she said.
Instead, she encouraged people to be more conversational, even by starting with something as simple as, “How are you?” Started. and remember that we “should write to connect, we don’t write to impress”.
In her book, Arnold also recommended avoiding opening phrases like “I write to introduce myself …” that focus too much on the sender.
An example of a more effective opener that focuses more on the recipient would be: “Your LinkedIn article on strengthening customer relationships got me thinking.”
If you think about who the recipient is, what you want to do after the email, and why they should care for a few seconds before you write the email, you should “increase the chances of your email being opened.” and is answered, “she said.
Delete calls to action
One of Arnold’s biggest pieces of advice has been to make sure that every email has a call to action that is, “100% clear what this person should do next”.
Too often, Arnold said, people bury what they really want in an email for fear of being too direct or taking up someone else’s time. She said that it is actually more respectful to respect someone else’s time when you know clearly what we want and when you set a deadline.
“Often we say ‘do you have time?’ … ‘It would be great to discuss’ is a classic at the end of the email, but it’s so vague and then you have to check your diary to suggest dates, “she said.
Similarly, Arnold recommended that the explanations included in emails be made clear and concise, and suggested that they be about the length of a tweet so that they are easily digestible for the reader.
The presentation is also key to making it easier for the reader to digest the email, she said, advising people to only write 2-3 paragraphs with plenty of space in between.
“Spaces on the page are extremely valuable as they help make our important words stand out,” she said.
Finally, Arnold said that the subject line of the email should be written last, as this is one of the most important parts of the email and is meant to entice the recipient to open it, so it shouldn’t be rushed.
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