Like it or not, email is still our default form of communication and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Sure, you can add in various collaboration and communication tools, but you’re not going to completely get rid of emails. So, for now, it’s our main way of working with others, and unfortunately, our fast-paced world is fueling our email headaches.
Too many new emails. Too much back-and-forth. Too much confusion.
How do we fix it?
Well, start by steering clear of these three email writing mistakes that are actually pretty simple to solve.
MISTAKE #1: Assuming Knowledge
Whenever you write an email, I want you to imagine randomly stopping the recipient in a hallway and spouting out your message. Too often, we jump into an email and are so focused on the overall message that we forget key details or fail to specify.
“For the meeting…” or, “The company asked…” What meeting? What company? With schedules and brains packed to the brim, it’s easier on everyone involved if you add in a few descriptors to be super clear about what you’re referencing.
MISTAKE #2: Forgetting Timezones
We live in a global environment and with more people working remotely than ever, assuming someone knows what timezone you’re referring to in your emails isn’t going to work anymore. Get into the habit of always including timezones in all your communications. Also, bonus tip! If you’ve scheduled time with someone using a timezone as a reference point, skip the messy converting and send the calendar invite in that timezone.
If you need a little help with timezone, this 10-minute video is a crash course on how Daylight Saving works, when to use the “D” and “S” abbreviations, and how time change works in Arizona.
MISTAKE #3: Being Hard to Contact
Bottom line, you should have an email signature. And you should have one from everywhere you send emails. Emails are easily forwarded and delegated and if you’re difficult to get ahold of, you may slow the speed of business or even miss opportunities. Create email signatures for new emails, replies, and from your phone that include, at a minimum, your full name, email address, and phone number.
Let’s be honest, emails will always be a bit of a pain. But there are little tweaks we can make to improve the experience for everyone. Plus, by making the three changes above, you will reduce the number of emails requiring your attention, which is a huge win!