Data compiled in 2018 by the Radicati Group shows that there were about 124.5 billion business emails sent and received each day, while there are about 111.1 billion consumer emails sent and received each day. I can only imagine how much that number has gone up now, with so many people working remotely! As a result, many email recipients often feel overwhelmed by the number of emails they receive and have a difficult time discerning which ones to read, which ones need responses, and which ones can be deleted without even opening.
If you want to ensure the email you send gets read and isn’t one of the ones that’s ignored or deleted, here are 12 questions you must ask yourself before you hit SEND.
- Am I sending this email only to people who ABSOLUTELY need to receive the information?
- Have I clarified those I expect to take action (those in the TO field) from those I’m just “keeping in the loop,” (those in the CC field.)
- Do I need to REPLY ALL with my response, or just send my answer to the person who needs to know my answer?
- Did I get to the point quickly and clarify my purpose and/or question up front or have I buried the point after a bunch of rambling background?
- Is email the BEST way to communicate my message and achieve my goal, or would a call, text, or face-to-face be more appropriate, effective, and efficient?
- Is my email conversational, professional, and pleasant, or do I sound like I’m shouting demands?
- Did I use headers, paragraph separations, and other formatting to clearly identify key areas of my content, or did I write one long run-on blob of text?
- Did I write my subject line AFTER I’ve finalized my content so that it is most accurate?
- Will my subject line compel people to open my email?
- Have I checked links in the email or my signature block to ensure they still work and go to the right place?
- If I have the option for a sub-header, have I taken advantage of it as a compelling preview to my email content so people will open it?
- If I’m angry or upset, have I given myself a cooling off period to re-read the email before I hit SEND?
What other email effectiveness tips would you add to this list? Let everyone know by commenting below!
For more information about writing effective emails, check out this post on 9 Critical Email Mistakes You Might Be Making.