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Summary: 10 tips to ensure your e-mail messages get read.
================================================================= Creating User-Friendly Email
For some people email is a blessing. It is now easier than ever to communicate with counterparts all over world at speed of light. You can collaborate on projects, review memos, and send updates all in stroke of a few keys. For other people email is a horrible curse. As if paper tiger on your desk wasn't bad enough, many people are drowning in hundreds of emails a day, all urgent, all needing your immediate action. Here are 10 tips to make sure emails you send don't add to your recipientís list of headaches
1. Greet recipient in beginning of your message and thank them at end. This will set tone of your message. If you were to walk over to someone's cube, first thing out of your mouth would not be "Is report ready?" More than likely, you would say something like "Hi Bill. Do you have that report ready?" Show same courtesy when you're sending a message.
2. Make subject line of your message meaningful. The average manager receives dozens of emails everyday. Make subject of your email as meaningful as possible so recipient will know if they need to open right away or if it can wait until after lunch.
3. Mark your message urgent only if it is urgent. We live in such a fast paced society; it feels like everything is urgent. But if every email in your box was marked as urgent how would you know what was really urgent? The last thing you want is to be labeled as a person who marks all of their messages as urgent (ever heard of little boy who cried wolf:). There are 2 things you can do if you are concerned about your message being read in a timely basis. a. If your email service as this capability, place a return receipt on your message. This way you will be notified when you letter is open. b. Write in subject when you need a response by. This will help set expectations with your recipient. Example: West Lake Report: Please Review by 1/27
4. If you have an attachment included in your email, mention it during message. This will ensure that your recipient knows there is an attachment and they should contact you if they didn't get it.
5. State purpose of your email in first couple of sentences. When people open email, there is only one thought going through their minds "Do I have to read this now?" Answer that question for your recipient as early in message as possible.