Composing and sending emails can eat up a lot of time. Here are some tips for making your email production process more effective and efficient:
Focus Your Message
We all rush through our incoming email, scanning as we go. For example, when you ask a lot of questions, people tend to only see and respond to the first one. You will get better results from your recipients if you focus on the one action that you want them to take. Concentrate on one question at a time if you need information.
Keep your message brief and be specific about what you need to know. Use short sentences and bullet points. Avoid large blocks of text.
Respond to important emails within a day, or even within hours, whenever possible. For business emails this may be the difference between keeping and losing a customer.
Timeliness also helps maintain the flow of the conversation. After a few days, your recipient may have forgotten the background of the conversation.
Verify Important Emails
For high priority emails, especially with large attachments or time-sensitive information, call the recipient to make sure they received it. Leave a quick voice mail to alert them to watch for the email in case it gets caught in email filters.
Please only call if your message really is important to the recipient. No, your sales pitch does not qualify.
Respect Your Recipients’ Privacy
When sending to a list, always protect the privacy of your recipients’ email addresses. Use the blind carbon (BCC) option or other methods so that your recipients can’t see each other’s addresses. They won’t thank you if they end up on unwanted mailing lists due to your carelessness.
Use Email Templates
If you tend to write the same email text regularly, create email templates that you can copy and paste rather than wasting time retyping. For example, make templates for frequently asked support questions and requests for information (RFIs).
However, be careful not be let your emails become impersonal and unspecific. If you use templates, always proofread each final email with the current target recipient in mind and make sure that their particular case is addressed.