Ditch The Novel-Length Emails; Shorter Is The New Better
“Write your emails as descriptive as possible because you don’t want the recipient to miss out on any detail.”
I heard a trainer giving this advice to the new employees in a multi-national company during his session.
I was stunned to hear the advice. Why?
Today, when the attention span of people has reduced drastically (8 seconds in 2018 as compared to 12 seconds in the 2000s), can you expect a person to carefully read an email containing 4-5-6 paragraphs, how shorter may those be?
Most of us read emails on our mobile phones (thanks to amazing outlook and Gmail layouts offered by Android and iPhones), sometimes while waiting at traffic lights, commuting through public transport or waiting for a cup of coffee at a café.
Scrolling page after page to read the entire email is cumbersome no matter how important it may be.
Not just reading, we have to respond as well, often answering the questions asked in the email or attaching the required files.
When was the last time you read the entire mail? We all eagerly want to cut down directly to the Call-to-Action button and move the mail to the Archive folder after taking necessary action.
Yes, an email should convey all the points a recipient is required to know about the subject matter. But, it doesn’t mean you include everything in the body section and make it as long as the Nile River.
Look around for the email etiquettes anywhere on the Internet, you will find one rule on top – Cut the fluff.
Good email etiquettes will suggest you keep the main points in the body section and include other points (in detail) as an attachment to the email.
Yet, most people overlook this suggestion and write everything in the mail body.
Writing shorter emails is an art which can be developed with continuous practice only. When you keep your emails concise and clear, you increase the chances of receiving a reply in the shortest possible time.
Especially for freelancers, sales consultants and job candidates, shorter emails are indispensable. While sending a sales pitch or a resume, you definitely don’t want the recipient to move your email directly to Spam or Read Later folder.
Here are a few tips which can help you in writing shorter crisp, concise emails:
- Avoid opening phrases and pleasantries such as “Hope you had a good weekend”, “Good Morning”, “Thanks for letting me introduce myself” etc.
- Your opening paragraph should clearly talk about the objective of sending the email.
- Write the call-to-action in bold letters so the recipient knows what to do as soon as he opens the mail.
- Keep your email 5 sentences or less (unless longer email would save someone’s life :P)
In a nutshell, shorter emails are the new way of telling everything in detail. Create magic through your message by keeping it crisp and clear.
Are you writing emails for the sake of it or to convey information to a reader easily? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.