Let me start by saying, email is something we all have to do, but bad emails are things we don’t have to tolerate. I get a shitload of emails every day, as do many people I know. I have a personal SLA that I will respond to all emails within 24 hours or less because someone may be waiting on me for an answer (if it’s immediate, everyone knows my phone is on).
So why do so many still believe they can write either long, rambling emails that never get to the point or have no calls to action? It happens all the time!
There are those, though, that when they do email you, which isn’t often, it’s straight to the point. I volunteer on a board and have always been impressed with the chairman’s emails. I know the topics, calls to actions and who’s responsible for what within seconds. A lot of information is consumed quickly. It’s awesome.
I ran into him by chance this week and he asked if I received his email. I acknowledged I had, and also told him how much I appreciated how concise his emails are.
“I treat email like knocking on someone’s door during family dinner. I know it can be an interruption, so I do it sparingly and make it direct and quick.”
And with that, he shook my hand and kept moving on, keeping true to his direct and quick statement!
This was a good reminder for me to make sure when I send an email or response, to keep it quick and direct. I have to assume the recipient is extremely busy, and my email can be a distraction. Treat it like you’re knocking on the door at dinner time!