Posted by: beckbamberger | September 6, 2012

Get Your Message Across: What to Consider Before Hitting Send

Do you ever find yourself skimming through your inbox and firing off one quick reply after another without a second thought? Email has become such a reflexive form of communication that we often type before we think, forgetting the power a single message can carry. Whether it’s a pitch to a potential client or media outlet, an exchange with a current client, or even a conversation between coworkers, the outcome of an email can be pivotal to you and your company. With that said, we’ve sought out the experts for advice on how to pack a punch in each message. Read on for tips to get your emails noticed and get your point across effectively.

Subject matters

You probably know from experience that most people in the professional world receive more emails than they can count. In the few seconds spent reading the subject line, recipients often determine whether or not they will even open a message, so make it count. Personalize the subject if you can, and take the time to write a concise, compelling line rather than tacking it on right before you hit send. Steer clear of spam trigger words to prevent your email from ending up in someone’s junk folder.  One writer recommends checking out the nearest newspaper if you get stuck: “Newspaper headlines do a great job highlighting the most important part of a story in a limited number of characters.” Think of your subject line as a mini-pitch that will compel your recipient to read on.

Proofread, proofread, proofread

You’ve been told a million times and it seems like common sense, but in the daily hustle and bustle, this task is often neglected. It is crucial in all aspects of public relations and marketing. Although most mistakes are tiny, the smallest error can be detrimental. Remember, you are acting as the voice of your company. Incorrect dates, sloppy grammar and the like will immediately diminish the respect and trust of clients, and newer contacts will just write you off permanently. You will rarely get a pat on the back for a terrific job not messing up, but we promise, a few extra minutes spent proofreading are more than worth the time.

Keep it simple

Don’t fluff up your message – write concisely. It will save you time and help your readers get to the point quickly. Always include a brief introduction and organize your email into brief sections – a few short paragraphs are far less daunting then an essay. If you are addressing multiple issues, make sure to bullet or number them accordingly. People tend to skim and you don’t want them missing something important. Use a simple typeface to keep the focus on the message.

Be professional

It all comes down to basic, professional etiquette. Keep your responses punctual and courteous, refrain from using slang or abbreviations, and never assume privacy. Visually, your message should look professional. Again, you are the voice of your company and should write your emails as such.

Pay attention to your reader

Last but not least, write with your audience in mind. While efficiency is important, it doesn’t matter how concise your message is if the reader has no idea what you are talking about. Give them the necessary background info and ask yourself the following questions: What benefits are you offering them? Why have they chosen to read your message and how can you validate that decision? What are the immediate actions for both parties? It may sound petty, but everyone likes to feel like they are special and getting the attention they deserve, so make an effort to convey to the reader that they are your priority.

 Utilize these tips when composing emails and soon they will become secondary nature. Every message is an opportunity, so treat each one as such. Clear, efficient writing will boost your productivity, save tons of time, and strengthen your communication channels. Happy emailing everyone!

 Do you have any more emailing pointers to share?

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