Send Emails That Get Results

Do your emails get the attention and rapid response they deserve? Here’s how to make sure people read and answer your messages while they’re still fresh:

  • Grab them with your subject. The subject line should read like a compelling newspaper headline. One technique is to use the subject line to tell people what you want up front: “Please come to the 3 p.m. meeting,” for example, or “Do you have the Jones file?”
  • Limit yourself to one subject per message. Don’t overload readers with questions and data. Single-topic emails are easier to answer than lengthy essays or questionnaires.
  • Ask for action. Tell the reader what you need him or her to do—present a report at the 3 o’clock meeting, or bring the Jones file to your office. Specify whether you want a response to your email. If it’s not necessary, tell them.
  • Be consistent. Tracking emails is easier when you keep the same subject line.
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