Email without purpose.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

(Photo: Ségozyme)

Have you ever received an email and wonder, “What am I supposed to do with this?” An email giving you all kinds of background, but never explains why you are receiving the email in the first place? Every email you send should have a call to action.
— If your email is informational, start out the email with “FYI.”
— Are you looking accomplish an objective with this email? Have you addressed the person or group needed to complete your goal? By addressing people individually in the email you are making sure everyone is assigned direct responsibility for their actions.
— Is this email a request for information? Then let the intended recipient know what you need from them.

Have you expressed your expectations or goals?
— Why the recipient needs this?
— What is the timeline?
— Is there anyone else who should be on the email to be able to monitor the progress?

Especially with a remote working situation it is important you communicate a specific call to action since your intended recipients are not going to be able to clarify your purpose as they would be able to working in the same office.

Every email should have call to action and timeline.

(See also: Long drawn-out emails, Who are you talking to anyway, Email in camouflage)

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  1. Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    You wrote a very interesting topic. Email. It is a tool, and unfortunately people do not use this tool that much. Not sure why, but many of my emails went into recipient mailbox unnoticed, resulting me doing the follow up again and again. I did check your points and I must say many instances, I do meet the requirement. I hope I am wrong, but from my personal experiences ;

    1. People do not read email and lazy in replying email [ I do not understand why they “love” to make people living in the dark ? Like hanging the matter on the air, neither say yes nor no.] May be it is fun for them !
    2. People are worried that the email will be used against them, like a weapon to shoot their own legs. People prefer to communicate via telephone, and easy to deny that they make such and advise etc.
    3. Please do easily come to conclusion or in other word ” jumpy” . They come to conclusion even before finish reading the email, as if they know the conclusion and request. [ I may have gap here in trying to keep the email short and simple and direct to the point].

    Thanks for sharing..and keep up posting good article.

    • Jason Christensen
      Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 12:18 PM

      Interesting comment. I find in my industry, here in the United States, the primary line of communication is email, to the point where it is excessive. I also find most people will email so they have their comments documented as written evidence of what they actually said. It is fascinating to know others are having a completely opposite experience.
      Thanks for the comments,

  1. Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 5:59 AM
  2. Monday, October 19, 2009 at 7:51 AM
  3. Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 8:41 PM

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