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How to Write the Perfect Email

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Just saw this on Wired on how to write the perfect email. Here's an excerpt, should be required reading if you're dealing with a big team.

Email, not the web, is the most-used Internet application by transaction volume. It’s also the most misused. Since it’s such an important and often overlooked component of our online lives, I’m going to step away from preaching about the web for a moment and focus on simple steps to make your email discussions more effective.

If you grew up like I did, you were taught how to write a letter. You learned how to write business and casual headings and salutations, state your purpose, make a request, set expectations for a response, and wrap it up with a Very Truly Yours.

But an email is not a letter, and you’re not typing at a Selectric II typewriter. You may look at the days of formal graces in written communication with some sadness, but rest assured that they are as dead as Dillinger. If your purpose is to solicit information or action from another person via email, you must make that clear to them at the earliest possible point in the message.

I get hundreds of emails a day, not counting spam. I know I’m not alone. Email overload is a problem, and it will probably only get worse.

It’s tempting for geeks like me to propose some kind of microformat as a solution: begin subjects with these words, format the first line like that. But email is too widely distributed to corral into a any kind of structure now. All we can do is focus on quick, concise, effective communication.

People differ in how they manage their inboxes, but attention to a few details can help make your messages more usable for everyone.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 7:55 PM |

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3 Comments:

At 9/09/2007, Blogger Randy said...

good show...i like it 2 posts since the begining of our class...excellent.

P.S. I like that you agreed to our midweek that we have here at saddleback. :-) Wednesday night foundations see you there.

 
At 9/10/2007, Blogger Stephen Barry said...

Nice. I enjoy your blog man...just linked it on my own. Would you be down for a little reciprocal link love? stephenbarry.blogspot.com.

Keep up the good stuff!!

 
At 9/10/2007, Blogger Joshua Griffin said...

Done! JG

 

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