- Keep your message focused on a single outcome. This requires that you’re clear as to the purpose and objectives of your message. Focus strictly on a single outcome per email. Do not mix a number of different goals and in a single email. Mixing your outcomes results in confusion and misunderstanding. Stay focused on addressing only one goal per message. If you need to address a number of issues it’s recommended that you address each in a separate email or alternatively schedule a face-to-face meeting.
- Get to the point quickly. Your message must focus on a single topic or subject to be effective. This requires you to keep the purpose of your message front of mind and framing it in a way the recipient can understand and easily digest. Get to the point in as few sentences as possible. People want to know what the email is about as soon as they open it.
- Reduce the number of questions. Limit the number of questions you ask in a single email. Reduce questions down to the 2 – 3 that really matter. The more questions you ask the less likely that you will get a response or that all the questions will be answered.
Target your message to the relevant audience by sending the message only to appropriate recipients. It’s important to think through who needs the information or who needs to take action. As a rule you should only send an email to those who would understand why they have been included as a recipient. Use the following guidelines when sending email to recipients:
- TO: The “TO” field should be used to indicate that the recipient of the message is expected to respond or to take action. As a general guideline is to include the recipients that you require to respond to your email or to take action in the “TO” field of the email.
- CC: The “CC” field is used to include recipients in the the mail that are included “for information” purposes only. The recipients in the “CC” field are not expected to reply or to respond to the request for action.