Do You Write Good Emails
do you even write good e mails? Have you ever even stop to think about the question of whether you, right? Good emails or not? You've literally written thousands tens of thousands of emails and I doubt you've ever thought about Is this good or not? Am I good at this or not? Should I practice or improve? Nobody stops to think about how doe I right Good e mails. Now there's a couple ways you can know if you write good emails. The first way is everyone replies to your email. You ask for something and everyone replies back, you get all the information you need. That's one way to know that you wrote a good email the other way. The more subtle thing toe watch for to know if you write good emails is nobody replies to your email. Yes, nobody replied her emails actually a good thing, because what it means is you included everything that you needed to say in that email so that people could get on with their lives and go do the work they are asking them to dio. Now, if you're not sure about this,...
go back to your computer. Pull up your inbox and take a look. It started simple enough. You sent out an email and said, Hey, I need you to fill out this form by Thursday. End of the day and then a couple hours go by and someone writes and goes, Hey, does end of day mean seven o'clock? Or is it okay if I turn it in the next morning? Or do you need it by five oclock? And then someone else replies later and says, Hey, what format do you want it in? And someone else replies back the next angles. Hey, where should we save all this information? And the next thing you know, it's been 36 hours, 48 hours. No works gotten done because you didn't write a good email, and you're sitting there wondering, Why didn't anyone get back to me? Why can't I get the information I need? The reason is very simple. You didn't write a good email, so take a deep breath. Check your inbox. Look where there's 36 replies to your original email and go back to the beginning and try and work it out. Okay, right. A good email. Get the information you want let people get on with their lives and everybody's happy. All right, so now that we talked about, did you write a good email or not? The next step is what's the secret ingredients to writing a good email? And I've got four secret ingredients and the 1st 1 is the most important one. It's called bullet points. You have to use bullet points. Now when I say bullet points, I mean bullet points. I mean the formatting button on the computer that has bullet points. Don't use dashes. Don't use stars. Don't use little half parentheses. Don't use underlying squiggly face. I don't care what your personal little thing is. Onley used the bullet points. The reason you have to use the bullet point formatting tool is then it looks the same on any screen that you send it on any format you might be sending on outlook. I might be reading it on Gmail. If you send me a squiggly line, it's gonna look totally different. If you use the bullet pointing format tool, it's gonna look the same for everybody. Most people don't understand that most people don't realize that now. The other thing about writing bullet points is bullet points say I'm organized. So therefore, pay attention to what I'm saying. The enemy of email is big chunks of text, and if you have to write everything in a bullet point, it makes you organize your thoughts. And a bullet point should only be one at most two sentences. If it gets longer than that, what it means is two things. Either one. You're making two points so used to bullet points, or it means you're rambling and you need to be more concise. So it's a great rule of thumb. One bullet 10.1 sentence. Okay, I cannot overstate the importance of using bullet points in your email. Number two White space. Designing your e mails is critical to making people engage with your email so you can get the information you need and get on with your life. Now, when I talk about white space, what I mean is breathing room. It's really important that your email looks clean and organized, and there's a lot of white space around it. And so what I mean is actually used the return key and hit return a few times in between your lines, even between your bullet points hit Return Create the white space room to breathe. Makes your email more comfortable. Now. One of the things I want to bring your attention is most people, when they're writing and email there, sitting at their desk that they're great big laptop up and everything looks great on the big screen. But what people don't think about is the end users experience, which is on the recipient of the email. I'm using a tiny little screen. I've got my little phone. I'm running between meetings I'm trying to steal. Look under my desk, and all of a sudden, what look good on your big computer doesn't look so good on my tiny little screen. So take into account the recipients experience of that email, anticipate that it may not be pulled up at the same exact size, is yours and make some adjustments accordingly. That's the importance of white space. Now the next thing I want to talk about this is a little secret between you and me. It's about using weird deadlines. Deadlines are the white noise of corporate America. I would say 95% of deadlines are totally random, plucked from the sky and they have no meaning whatsoever. When is that project? Due? Wednesday. End of day. Why Wednesday and today? I don't know. It was the first thing that came to my head. And so what happens in the email exchange? If you're saying there's a deadline and you say Wednesday, end of day, it just goes in one here, out the other. Okay, so what I want you to do is break through that noise and get people's attention because the point of email is ask for something and get what you need and get on with your life. So when you set a deadline, what I like to do, I set deadlines like this. I say deadline due Tuesday, 3 52 PM Why 3 52? It doesn't matter. The reason is because all of a sudden you're gonna pay attention to it. 3 He must have a reason that it's 3 52 But the truth is, I'm just trying to break through the white noise. Now, your first reaction to that is gonna be like, Whoa, Justin is a weird guy. Why 3 52? And that's fine. If that's your reaction, because in your mind you've now registered When that deadline is now, what usually happens when I do these fun deadlines is people reply to me and they say, Hey, Justin replying 3: p.m. ha ha ha! And they think they're so funny. But the truth is, I'm winning. I got what I needed from you when I needed it. I cut through the noise. I used a strange headline and it got your attention. So before everyone else finds out about this trick, start using strange deadlines to get people's attention and get what you need from them. OK, now Number four. I want to talk about the greetings on emails. My advice is ditch the greetings. I travel all over the country. I talked to thousands of people a year about how to write a good email, and one of the biggest topics that comes up is what should the personality of my email be? Should I say hi? Should I ask about the weather? Should I say howdy? What does it say about me? What are the gender politics of the personality of the greetings of an email and my advice is, get rid of it all e mails are a tool to go out and get information and bring it back to you. It's not a place to build a relationship. It's not a place to build your personality. It's definitely not a place to tell a joke. It's about keeping it simple and saying, Hi, Brian. Three things. 123 and that's it. It's not agree. Hi, Brian. Hope you had a good weekend. I'm hoping you could help me with this project. That's a greedy, and that's a waste of time and it's getting in your way. That's a bad email. Hi, Brian. Three things. Bullet 30.1 bullet point to bullet 0.0.3. That's it. Get in, Get out pro Tip the attachment trap. Do not expect people to read your in tach mints. In fact, I assume no one ever looks at my attachment because if I've written a good email, then there's no reason for them to go over and try and open up this file and again think about where they are when the receiving. If I'm getting your email and it's on this tiny little phone, I'm really not gonna like you. If you're making me go to an attachment, and then it says, Please download this new document into this app. You're totally messing me up. You're not making it easy for me to give you the information that you want. So my advice is, don't use attachments at all if you have to use them. Put all the critical information in the body of the email and basically assume no one ever looks at your attachment. So take the time to think about the recipients experience of the email. Make it easy for them to look at it, no matter what screen, no matter what size, Make it easy for them to read. Make it comfortable. Make it Welcoming the enemy is blocks of text. If I open an email and there's endless scroll of data and blocks of information, I'm going to save that one till later. But if I open an email and there's nice breathing room, there's white space. Oh, there's a bullet point. Okay, great. I think I'm gonna answer this one. And the secret to life is getting people to answer your emails first.