Getting Results with E-mail
By Gideon T. Rasmussen, CISSP, CRISC, CISA, CISM, CIPP

Here are three tips to communicate clearly through e-mail. Your coworkers will be more likely to take action. These techniques help influence and may result in less meetings.

Tip # 1: Create messages with concise content.

Which of these two e-mail would you prefer to receive?

If the information is clearly communicated in both e-mail, most people will opt for the shorter message. This reflects the abbreviation TL;DR, which stands for "too long; didn't read."

Tip # 2: Place a Call to Action at the beginning of the message.

When receiving an e-mail, coworkers want to know what is requested of them (i.e. what do you want?).

If you have a desire to provide background or rationale, include that in a second paragraph.

Tip # 3: Provide a descriptive subject line.

People decide whether to open an e-mail based on the sender and the subject line. If you communicate clearly in the subject line, that enables them to make the right decision. Be sparing in use of terms such as “URGENT:”.

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