How to Write a More Effective Email

Update Captain Admin | Wednesday, October 5, 2016
 
We have all been there. We have either written an email or received one from someone that has been full of important - or not so important – information, but it was so poorly written it was difficult to follow. Maybe, it looked something like this:
 
Example of a BAD Email
Hello everyone, I wanted to give you an idea of where we are with a few things. A number of people have been identified for sponsorship opportunities for our upcoming gala.  We are working on the brochure for the event and still have a few edits before it goes to print. We have a meeting coming up in a few days so please try and be there.  It’s important and we have lots to discuss.   Our graphic designer is working on the latest edits and we expect to have them completed by the end of the week. We will be giving the brochure and letter to our sponsors to give them an idea of what they can get for their money…  We also need to talk about the revised budget.  Need to review financials from accounting… The website project is coming along nicely but we still need a bunch of pictures for the product pages.  The website design team needs them soon so we can finish up the site and our product managers are doing the best they can to get them in asap!
 
The Value of Using Headings and Lead Sentences
Instead of a long and complicated stream of consciousness, follow these rules:
  1. Keep your email short, specific and to the point. People are busy and they may not take the time to decipher a poorly structured message.  
  2. Break out your information into topics and use headings so people can quickly access the content they are looking trying to locate. 
  3. Summarize paragraphs with a simple lead sentence so people know what they are about to read.
 
Here’s an example of a better way to construct the above email:
 
Hello Board Members,
 
Here is some additional information for our meeting coming up on Thursday. 
 
Sponsorships
-Identified potential sponsors to contact for the gala and created a list for us to review.
-Sponsorship letter and brochure will go to print tomorrow and we will hand them out at our meeting this week
 
New Website
We are finalizing the product pages of the website and expect to have it completed in two weeks. 
 
Finance
We need to discuss next year’s budget and revenue forecast
 
Agenda and Other Business
The final agenda for our meeting will be sent out Let me know if you have anything else that needs to be included in our agenda
 
Best,
Penelope Johnson
Executive Director
 
Ready to take your communications to a new level?  Learn how with Update Captain.