1. One Topic Per Email
You start writing an email with the topic “Next Years Marketing Program.” While writing the email, you also ask questions or provide information about the human resources review and the computer upgrades.
When your recipients look for this the HR or computer upgrade information later, they won’t find it because the subject line is about something completely different.
I find if I ask a client a lot of questions in an email, they tend to only answer the first few and skip over the rest. So I have learned that I get better email replies with no more than 3 questions and when I keep it to a single topic and single email subject line.
2. Clear, Concise Instructions
Often we are in a rush and just dash off a bit of information quickly in an email. Or we are trying to multitask so we don’t give the email our full attention.
Slow down! Stop multitasking and give FULL attention to the email and take the time to give detailed instructions on exactly what you want the other person to do. Taking a little more time now to give better, clearer instructions will give you better email replies the first time and save you multiple emails later.
3. Keep Outcomes in Mind
What is your goal in writing this email? What do you want to have happen? With a clear outcome in mind, you can carefully craft the email to give you a better chance of achieving the desired outcome.
4. Tell Reader What to Do Next
Specify what action you want the recipient to take. Tell them what to do, who to contact, where to get help if they aren’t sure how to proceed, and how to let you know when it is done.
Tell them if they do not need to reply to the email if it is FYI only. This will save you getting email replies back with one word like “ok.” These short email replies fill up your inbox and are unnecessary.
5. Include Helpful Links and Resources
Do you find yourself answering the same question or giving the same instructions over and over again? Set up a frequently asked questions document either internally or online that you can link to. For external use, I put a FAQ area on my web site. For internal use among my team, I tend to use OneDrive for this. Dropbox will also work.
Creating and linking to instructional documents and how-to videos also work great both internally and externally. I create training videos for my team on how to do the various functions in my business.
I also use a text expander to automate email replies that are common. Text expanders let me set up FAQs, sales letters, support replies and even proposals in seconds.
Better Email Replies Are Easy
it isn’t difficult to get better email replies. A little more care and thought when composing your own email will pay off in reduced email back and forth and clearer communication. If you are finding difficulty implementing this better email replies system with your staff, contact me about Email Productivity training.
Please share these 5 Tips to Better Email Replies with others.