Email tips

Top 10 on Managing Email

“Please read the attached email about the email I sent yesterday in reference to flooding the system with
too many unnecessary emails. Please forward to your entire staff. “

Some of our email requires us to take action, and some is for information only. How can we make email
more effective and efficient?

The “To” field is used for people that you are directly addressing or someone who needs to take action.
“To cc or not to cc” that is the question. Don’t cc someone unless that they have direct involvement in
the information provided. These people are on the email for FYI or CYA – no action is required of these
people. Don’t cc someone who isn’t directly involved or really doesn’t need to know. We may be
collectively filling someone’s email with unnecessary information that they have to review, which wastes
their time.

  1. Be concise.  Less is more in the context of emails – can you write what needs to be written in a couple of sentences rather than in paragraphs. 
  2. Be polite.
  3. Attach documents thoughtfully.   Ask yourself, does this person really need to read all of this? Make sure your email does not get ignored altogether because of too many appendages.
  4. Include an automatic signature line.   End with pertinent data about you. Put your name, your phone number.
  5. Use a descriptive subject header.   Avoid subject headers like, “Hi”, “Memo”, or “Volume 3, Edition 1”. Make your reader want to open the email by being as detailed and personal as possible. 
  6. Read and answer all questions when responding.
  7. Answer timely.
  8. Do not write in CAPITALS.  It’s hard to read.  Also, it appears that you’re yelling at the recipient.
  9. Be careful of exclamation marks (!).  This symbol can also be construed as yelling.
  10. Use a meaningful subject.  Subjects assist with prioritizing workloads and recalling important information.


Other email thoughts:

  • There is no privacy in the land of email.  If you don’t want the message posted on social media, don’t send it.  
  • If your Mom, Significant Other, Daughter, Sister or Grandmother can’t view it, don’t send it through work email.

Postpone angry emails indefinitely.   Emails are permanent records that can be transferred or saved by a simple click. All it takes is one person to forward your diatribe to the company directory. Confront in private, praise in public.