4 Tips for effective e-mail writing

 By Manoj Raheja

It goes without saying that e-mail is a fundamental medium for business communication.  Now join me on a trip to the twilight zone.  A topsy turvy world where impossible things happen!  What if…there were limitations on who was allowed to write and send e-mails!  What if…only those who became Journalists were allowed to write e-mails?  Could you imagine such a crazy world???  If that were the case – then you’d all have to live by nutty principles like these:

  1. Your Subject Title would matter:  Sorry people – No more blank subject lines; or those cryptic titles that don’t relate to the content.  On a long e-mail train that started with “Agenda for Upcoming Planning Meeting” but where the conversation is now about budget – you’d actually have to make the effort to go up to the subject line and change it!  What????  No thank you Sir – we don’t sell Crazy here!
  2. You would have a word limit:  This one cracks me up.  Can you imagine if someone told you that you couldn’t send that novel-like point of view on which colour the point of sale material should be?  What a world!  You’d be restricted to something like – never send an e-mail that is so long you have to scroll down to read the end.  Pure madness I say!
  3. You would have a proof reader:  Talk about farfetched!  In what world could every person who wrote an e-mail have a proof reader at your beck and call?   It’s as if there was some magic button you could press that would have someone go through your e-mail, and highlight all the words you misspelled and suggest the correct version.  Companies would have to spend zillions on that!  Oh well – we can dream can’t we?
  4. You would know that “anyone” might read your words:  How creepy is this?  Imagine the e-mail you sent out…actually went beyond the “To” person.  Imagine people just forwarded your message on and it even reached the President?  You’d have to write every e-mail as if the CEO or HR would read it.  Forget that noise!  Thank God my e-mails don’t get forwarded on…

Ok – come back outside of that tripped up dimension – Are you still with me?  All I have to say is – thank God we don’t have to be Journalists!  Even though the average business person may get 100 e-mails a day – I highly doubt that it would save you time if you didn’t have to work so hard to figure out the context of the e-mail.  I doubt that not having to scroll down to read an e-mail would save me that much time.   And is it really that distracting when you spelf a world incorrectly?  I dpnt” think so!  I hope you enjoyed this blog but do me a favour – please don’t forward it on, please don’t tweet it, mail it, or Morse code it.  It’s meant just for you and I’d hate to think it could be read by other people…

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