5 Quick and Easy Tips for Writing an Effective Email – Do’s and Don’ts

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1.  The first thing your reader sees is the subject line sitting in their mailbox.  For busy recipients, that might be the only thing they see so make it informative and unique.

Don’t:  May 15, 2012 

Do:  Kindergarten Field Trip Destination Change and Thursday Beach Day Reminders

Why:  The reader already knows today’s date and the first subject line tells them nothing about what you have to say.  In the second, you’ve told the reader exactly what they’ll find when they open your message and why they need to read it.

2.  Avoid the run-on “texting” approach.  Use spacing and avoid repetition!

Don’t:  Unfortunately, we have to cancel our field trip next week to the Nature Museum because of the NATO convention, and the road closures. Instead of the Nature Museum, we are going to Butterfly Park. You will be refunded your money for the Nature Museum. Please expect your refund by the end of the week.  If you were a chaperone for this field trip you are welcome to join us to the Butterfly Park or just meet us there! Our End of Year Kindergarten Beach celebration is Thursday (keep fingers crossed for BEAUTIFUL WEATHER). I am looking for a parent (or a few) to provide beach snacks.  Last year frozen grapes, apples, strawberries, ect..were a big hit.  Here are reminders for the day (I will send them out again on Wednesday): Students can wear their swimsuits with their uniform over- Backpacks (Only with beach day items) Sack Lunch WATER BOTTLE Sunscreen Hat Towel Sand toys (LABELED!!!). Sand toys MUST be able to fit in students backpack.

Do:

Because of the NATO convention road closures, our field trip will go to Butterfly Park instead of the Nature Museum on Monday, May 21st.  You will be refunded your money for the Nature Museum by the end of the week.  Chaperones for this field trip are welcome to join us at Butterfly Park or just meet us there! 

Our End of Year Kindergarten Beach celebration is Thursday (keep fingers crossed for BEAUTIFUL WEATHER). I am looking for a parent (or a few) to provide beach snacks.  Last year frozen grapes, apples, strawberries, ect..were a big hit. 

Here are reminders for the Beach day (I will send them out again on Wednesday): 

1.  Students can wear their swimsuits with their uniform over-

2.  Backpacks (Only with beach day items) 

3.  Sack Lunch

4. WATER BOTTLE 

5.  Sunscreen 

6.  Hat

7. Towel 

8.  Sand toys (LABELED!!!). Sand toys MUST be able to fit in students backpack.

Why:  People who are reading quickly need “small bites”.  When you have a giant paragraph like the one above, the eye just sees a big black square and your message will be lost.  The “Do” message is much easier to read, isn’t it?  You can absorb the meaning much faster with concise wording and a list.

3.  Identify yourself and don’t make it too short, angry or bossy!

Don’t:  Send me the info about summer camp right away.

Do:  I’m a member of Trinity Church and would like to send my daughter to your summer camp.  Because time is short, would you please send me the registration packet at soon as possible?  I appreciate your help!

Why:  The second email is short and to the point, but is much more courteous than the first one.  If you are the recipient, which one is more of a call to action for you?

4.  Proofread

Don’t:  I’m a member of Trinity Chrch and would like to send my doghter to your summer camp.  Because tim is short, would you please send me the registration packet at soon as posible?  I appreciate your hep!

Do:  I’m a member of Trinity Church and would like to send my daughter to your summer camp.  Because time is short, would you please send me the registration packet at soon as possible?  I appreciate your help!

Why?  The first message is almost unreadable because of the typos.  Proofread your message, use spell check, watch your punctuation.  If not, you might say something completely different than you intend!

5.  Avoid attachments, but if you have one, don’t forget to attach it!

Don’t:  I’m a member of Trinity Church and would like to send my daughter to your summer camp.  Because time is short, would you please send me the registration packet at soon as possible?  My address is in the attachment.  I appreciate your help!  (nothing is attached)

Do:  I’m a member of Trinity Church and would like to send my daughter to your summer camp.  Because time is short, would you please send me the registration packet at soon as possible?  My address is Mary Smith, 123 Main St.  Anytown, USA 11223.  I appreciate your help! 

Why:  It multiplies the amount of time it takes to read your email when you add an attachment.  You don’t know if the recipient has the program that you used to create the attachment and they may not even be able to read it.  If the information is short and you really want the recipient to read it, do a copy/paste and include it right in the email.

Any more tips?  Share them below!

 

 

Comments

  1. 1

    Awesome tips! I would also add KISS – keep it simple, stupid. State what you want to get across in as few words as possible!

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