On Consumer Tuesday on Today's THV This morning we found some tips to help you with office ettiquite. Here are 8 ways to get people to actually read and answer your emails from Reader's Digest.
- Hone your subject line. The key is to be specific, not necessarily short. This makes your e-mail more interesting and in turn, more likely to get read.
- Don't bury the lead. If you want to annoy people, make them read three paragraphs before you get to the point. State your purpose in the first sentence or two and then get to the why and how of it.
- End with an action request. Here's an example -- say "I will call you on Wednesday at 10 am to follow up on this. Or "when can we finish this?" Otherwise, nothing is likely to happen.
- Be human. Decent people who would never dream of being cold and abrupt in person often come off that way in their e-mails. Being business-like doesn't have to mean being impersonal.
- Proof your e-mails. Just one misspelling, grammatical error, or typo is a negative. Sending clean e-mails automatically lifts you above the sloppy crowd.
- Behave yourself. Irony doesn't work in e-mails. As a rule of thumb -- neither do sensitive subjects like race, religion, and politics.
- Stop cc-ing everybody. If it doesn't apply to a person or group, don't send it to them! All you're doing is making all involved feel less important.
- Pick up the phone. Keep this in mind -- If you have to spend more than five minutes on an e-mail message, call instead.