Long drawn-out emails

Thursday, September 17, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

(Photo: Laura Mary)

Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! You’ve been there, skimming through an email because the person is going on and on instead of getting right to the point. It’s like walking down a long corridor that never ends. Don’t make the same mistake. No one has the time to read through your long drawn out explanation. And believe me, I am the king of drawing things out so I have become pretty good at changing my ways.

The best way to keep an email short and to-the-point is NOT writing in paragraph form. Use a short leading paragraph followed by key bullet points. Address individuals and use action items where necessary. Explain to each individual copied on the email why they are on the email even if it is just “FYI.” As a remote user you don’t have the ability to hold a meeting with your counterparts so it is best to provide precise detailed requests of what you are looking for from each individual or group addressed in your email.

Example:

Team,

Client ABC would like to run a Father’s Day promotion on Widget XYZ using mail-in rebates for the end user. Our thought is to have Widget XYZ be ½ price after mail-in rebate.


Fulfillment,

Please check with the factory and see if we can produce 10,000 units of Widget XYZ for a ship to arrive date of mid-March to Client ABC. When you have confirmation, please reply to all on this email.


Marketing,

§ Once we have confirmation from Fulfillment of product availability, please work with Finance to be sure we can reach our margin requirements.

§ We would like to incorporate this promotion into our new marketing initiative. Please call me at (555) 555-5555 to discuss any ideas you may have.


Finance,

Please check the financials to see how much we can offer in terms of the rebate keeping in mind the goal is ½ off to the end user after mail-in rebate. When you have this, please email Graphics and myself with the information.


Graphics,

Please use the same rebate form as last year inserting Widget XYZ. The dates of the promotion will be May 1st – June 1st. Insert the rebate amount when you hear back from finance. Please send this over to Legal and myself when complete.


Legal,

When you receive the file from Graphics, please review this to ensure it meets our corporate requirements and reply to Graphics and myself with any changes or approval.


Management,

This email is FYI.


Thank you all in advance for your help! I look forward to another successful promotional opportunity with Client ABC.


Precise emails, addressing each individual or team with specific action items and workflow.

(See also: Emails in camouflageEmail without purpose, Who are you talking to anyway)

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