Getting clarity on the outcomes expected from the recipient provides the starting point for constructing a brief, persuasive and powerful message.
There are only three types of business emails that get sent. Each has a different outcome and expected response from the recipient. The three types of emails are as follows:
- Email that only needs to be read: The purpose of this kind of email is to share information. No reply is necessary or expected from the recipient. The expectation is only that the message be read and understood. It’s useful to conclude these types of emails with the phrase “No Reply Necessary”.
- Email that requires a reply: The purpose of this kind of email is to get a decision from the recipient. You need the recipient to respond to the email with a decision. It’s useful when sending these types of emails to include all the information that the recipient will need to assist them with making their decision. Make it easy for them to decide and reply.
- Email that requires action: The purpose of this email is to get the recipient to take some action. For example to purchase a product, click on a link, share some information, review a document, etc. When asking for action it’s important to be specific concerning the kind action that you expect the recipient to take. If you are expecting an action to be taken it may be important to include due dates.
- What type of email do I need to send?
- What response or action an I expecting of the recipient? Have I made this clear?
- Have I included all the necessary information to support the expected response or action?
- Is email the best way to communicate this or should we rather have a telephonic or face-to face discussion?