Church Leader Insights has an eclectic mix of posts this week ranging from emails to retirement to money to handling shame.
Check it out.
Every day, workers send about 200 billion emails. Not surprisingly, the average worker spends 28 percent of the workday managing email. That’s a huge productivity drain, and if you’re using email like most people, you’re only making things worse.
While I’ve often written about sales and marketing emails, I’ve not yet provided short, easy-to-follow rules for day-to-day emails. Here you go:
1. Use email sparingly.
The old-school concept with emails is that “information is valuable,” and therefore every email message is a gift to the recipient. Today, however, everyone has information a-plenty; what’s in short supply (and therefore valuable) is time.
Emails force recipients to spend precious time assessing its priority, reading its contents, and taking action, even if it’s only to delete the email. Therefore, only send work emails when they’re necessary and pertinent.
2. Avoid CCs and distribution lists.
While there are times when an email should be sent to an entire group, sending copies too widely guarantees that too many people get too much information. This clogs up everyone’s inbox and wastes everyone’s time.
Conventional wisdom is, “When in doubt, copy.” That’s stupid. Emails are an imposition on those who don’t need the information in them. The smarter, better rule is, therefore: “When in doubt, don’t copy.”
3. Skip the formalities.
Wondering whether to use “Dear Mr. Jones” or “Hi, Joe” is a waste of time and effort, as is considering whether to end the email with “Sincerely” or “Best Wishes.” Isn’t it time we scrapped the quaint formalities of the pen-and-quill era?
Start with a sentence that’s meaningful. Don’t waste time inquiring about my health, my weekend, or the weather. Get the point for both our sakes. When you’re done making your point, stop writing. Period.
4. Use commonplace words.
Corporate-speak bulks up an email while making it harder to read, and fancy verbiage forces the recipient to waste effort decoding your meaning. Work is an everyday behavior so use everyday words. Example:
“Our go-to-market, customer-focused, innovation strategy should enable customers to utilize a state-of-the-art graphical user interface to submit product enhancement requests.”
“We need an easy-to-use screen that lets customers complain or comment.”