Risk & Business Magazine General Insurance Services - Fall 2020 - Page 20

EMAIL TIPS Want to become a pro at writing better emails? I want to give seven easy, but powerful email tips to make emailing better. According to Statista 269 billion emails were sent and received every single day in 2017. And this number is only going up! How can you become a better emailer? And why does this matter? The better you are at email the more likely: • Your emails get opened • You have faster email response rates • People don’t archive or ignore your emails • You build your professional credibility by sending clear, concise emails Learning to email well can help you get more done and be more successful. Here are my top email tips: EMAIL TIP #1: ABUSING THE WORD URGENT This is URGENT I need it back ASAP. It’s SUPER IMPORTANT because I’m writing in all caps. When I see URGENT in an email subject, my heart starts to race. I think about actually urgent things like bloodshed or falling off a cliff or YouTube being down–you know really serious things. If you overuse ASAP and URGENT you run the risk of people taking you less seriously when it is actually urgent down the line. Don’t be like the boy who cried wolf. Take-Away: Don’t abuse ASAP, URGENT, IMPORTANT unless it is really, really ASAP, URGENT, or IMPORTANT. EMAIL TIP #2: IF IT’S LONGER THAN THREE PARAGRAPHS, STOP Have you ever received and exceptionally long email — you know the ones where you have to scroll and scroll and scroll and they just never end? Really really long emails are really really tempting to just archive or ignore. Why? Something psychological happens with really long emails. If you spent two hours writing me a small novel in your email, I feel bad replying with only two sentences. So, I don’t… I literally ignore it in my inbox until the email is no longer relevant OR you call me about it. Maybe your email should have been a call or meeting in the first place? If you have a virtual team, it can be incredibly hard to keep emails concise because you can’t just pop by someone’s office with a question. Take-Away: If your email is longer than three paragraphs consider calling. It’s easier for both of you! EMAIL TIP #3: START NEW CHAINS Have you ever got an email where the subject is just filled with forwards and replies? Or have you ever been on an email chain that is 48 threads long and has nothing to do with the subject or the original question? Let’s stop the madness! If you are on a chain that doesn’t have to do with the original subject or has gone so far off course that you have no idea where you started, then it’s time to start a new chain. Everyone on the thread will thank you. By the way, if you need some email templates to nicely, and concisely start new emails you can check out good email templates from Buffer. Take-Away: Don’t let your email chains last forever. A good email should always be retired. EMAIL TIP #4: USE A HIERARCHY OF FACTS This is my super advanced tip for exceptional email skills. Always put the most important idea up top. At best, people skim their emails. At worst, they don’t finish reading them. Don’t bury your lead. If you have a big question or a big idea, put it right up top so you have a better chance of someone actually seeing it. This is just one of many email mistakes you can make but is the most important for increasing your response rate. Take-Away: Get your big idea out as soon as possible. EMAIL TIP #5: CONTAIN YOUR EMOTION Emotions can destroy your email credibility. And it can go one of two ways. Overly excited emails can drive people crazy. Quadruple explanation points, five smiley faces and three hearts later and your email cred is at zero. I love excitement, but don’t get too excited… especially about emojis. You also want to avoid emotional emailing. This is when you are angry, upset or irritated and you email everyone something a little nasty. I promise you WILL regret it. 20