Golden Rules for Email #1: Subject Lines

What is the core purpose of a Subject Line? [please choose one] 1. To inform the recipient of your email’s content 2. To motivate them to read the email Your Subject Line is the ‘headline’ for your email. So in some ways, informing the reader seems to make sense. After all, it’s there to give Read More

Making information accessible

The key to making information accessible is a simple question: Why does this matter to the reader? Answering this can help you overcome the all-too-human temptation to deluge the reader with as much information as you can find, without bothering to tell them why they should care. Let’s say you’ve been asked to recommend whether Read More

What’s in a word?

Well, I think practically everything. I’m helping a client to recruit at the moment, and I’d almost forgotten what a depressing exercise it can be in so many ways. Politely acknowledging every single application, without giving away too much, or innocently exposing yourself to some speculative lawsuit because you have somehow omitted a specific aspect Read More

LOL he exclaimed!

Have you noticed how even the smallest change in punctuation or emphasis utterly transforms the tone, and therefore the meaning, of an email? As an example, let’s take the case of a very brief reply to an associate, confirming the time and place for a meeting: OK, it’ a date I received this yesterday, and it Read More

Does email need etiquette…?

I have a friend whose emails always impress me. He never wastes a single word, yet all of his messages are entertaining, informative, brief, and usually very, very amusing. He has a real talent. As a writer I try to take great care of my emails, so always spellcheck them, for example. Once with the built-in spellchecker, then again using my own Read More