Are you overwhelmed with the amount of emails in your inbox?
Are you cluttering someone else’s inbox by doing things like sending multiple emails which can be reduced to one?
Email etiquette is rarely addressed and yet so important to everyone’s efficiency and sanity! So much of our daily business is conducted over email, especially in remote times. With all the traffic coming at us on an hourly basis, how do we get any actual work done?
Shockingly, some of you may be the very culprits of inundating your peers and coworkers with needless traffic when less can be more.
Here are some tips to help you be more efficient with your email communications and set an example for others to do the same, thereby reducing the amount of email traffic in everyone’s lives:
1- Say it succinctly.
Instead of writing a long and wordy email, which no one has time or attention span to digest, gather your thoughts, figure out the most important ideas you are trying to get across. Then, figure out how to say it with less. Take some time to edit. People will highly appreciate your respect for their time.
2- Say it in ONE email
Be respectful of others' inboxes. If you find yourself sending multiple emails about the same subject or promising follow-up details, STOP.
Multiple emails means multiple times a person has to have their attention captured when one time would suffice. Include ALL the details, surveys, links or calendar invitations in that ONE email. If you don’t have it all right there and then, wait until you do. People will appreciate having to open only one email to handle whatever business you are conducting.
3- Use Bullet Points
I am a big fan of bullet points because:
People’s attention spans are short these days and long emails with long paragraphs are hard to digest
Many of your important details could get lost if they don't visually stand out
The use of bullet points makes your thoughts more compact and easier for people to quickly receive and understand
Especially if you are asking important questions or laying out vital action items, bullet points will help those stand out easily.
4- Break up your thoughts
As with the use of bullet points, it is easier for most to read a series of short paragraphs than one long block of writing. It makes it seem more digestible.
Break up your thoughts or main ideas into smaller paragraphs.
Set questions that need to be answered apart so they stand out. This will offer a better guarantee that your questions are seen and hopefully responded to. Sometimes it helps to use a bold font, italics or highlight on a vital section or point you want to ensure is not missed or glossed over.
5- Do Not “Reply All”
Unless your response is truly intended for the whole email group, and you are certain it is vital information for all involved, do NOT hit “Reply All” when responding to an email with multiple recipients.
This is not a new complaint and yet so many people still violate this!
Sometimes people do it mindlessly, not really intending to reply to the group. Sometimes people think what they have to say is really pertinent to the whole group. Be very sure of this last one. People’s inboxes are already stuffed without adding a slew of replies that are not actually vital to anyone but the sender of the original email. Again, be respectful of others’ inboxes.
6- Avoid Email Volley
If it takes several emails back and forth to resolve something, pick up the phone!
I know talking on the phone is not as cool as it used to be, back when I was a teenager, when we would somehow manage to get ten girls on one phone line. We called it a "Party Line."
However, a quick phone call to resolve a question or matter that would otherwise take multiple back-and-forth emails will save you so much time and effort. Isn’t that what everybody wants: more time? Less effort?
Say it with less. Organize your thoughts and your efforts, and you will find what you desire:
You will also find that you have less exasperated colleagues and friends. There you go! I just bought you more time and goodwill. You’re Welcome!
Mitch Savoie Hill, "Engagement Expert", Certified Executive Coach, TEDx Speaker, and DISC Certified Corporate Trainer, is the Founder and CEO of SavHill Consulting LLC.
With over 25 years of experience in Sales, Hospitality, Training and Leadership, she delivers engaging and energetic presentations for any company or group wanting to increase engagement and productivity.
As an Executive Coach, Mitch helps her clients clarify their vision, map out actionable strategies, and Stretch Their Horizons!
To find out more about Coaching or Corporate Training with Mitch,
Schedule a complimentary consultation here -