How Not to Overflow Our Inbox – Tips on Effective Email Communication

E-mail is here to stay.

There was one brief moment when it’s popularity was at stake, however no chat, Skype, Viber or any instant message succeeded in overthrowing e-mail. Ever since the sixties (yes, you read it right, ’60-s) when the computer-based mail and messaging became possible with the advent of time-sharing computers, this method of exchanging messages kept on developing and conquering the world.

According to Wikipedia, e-mail was invented by Ray Tomlinson. By the mid-1970s it had taken the form now recognized as e-mail.

In the past early email systems required the author and the recipient to both be online at the same time but today email systems are based on a store-and-forward model.

When it comes to what we all take for granted today (we are referring to the internet), it was e-mail who had an important role in creating the Internet as in the 1980s it produced the core of the current services.

E-mail Today

First of all, some stats that might make you dizzy:

  • according to Radicati, there are 3.9 billion active email users.
  • nearly 60 billion junk emails will be sent each day in the next 4 years, as the Spam Laws research shows.
  • 82% of workers check email outside of normal business hours says Statista.

Do you see how wide the span of e-mail use is?

No wonder it takes up too much of our workday — 3.1 hours on averageaccording to a 2018 survey. However, it is still if not the best, then at least it’s the optimum way to communicate professionally.

So, what are the e-mail benefits?

For starters, it allows you to take a step back and (re)consider what you have to say. And you must admit, it’s a pretty luxurious advantage in these fast-paced times we’re living in. Having that in mind, we should try our best to exploit e-mail to its fullest.

Start by following these rules.

Length

Let us stop beating around the bush – a two-sentence email is a perfect email. In a perfect world, we would never have to scroll. Discipline yourself to communicate in a sharp way, giving your recipient the full info and timeline the first time around. Forget about Ask me for more information! ending of your message.

If there is no other way and you are obliged by the circumstances to send a long e-mail, consider breaking it into paragraphs and emphasizing the most important things.

Reply time

Yet another golden rule: If you don’t reply fast, you must reply well!

As the journalist, Olivia Nuzzi once tweeted:

“Dance like no one is watching; email like it may one day be read aloud in a deposition.”

Oh, and another thing: try avoiding emailing people at odd hours. Let your recipient see your professionalism just by receiving your message during office hours, or just a little bit over that.

Remember that some researchers found that it’s far more effective to send important messages when they just land at inbox as the recipient sits down to work.

A study from the University of Southern California suggests that emailing on weekday mornings solicits longer responses than afternoon messages.

With the app that allows you to schedule e-mails, you won’t have a problem with this even if you took some work home on weekends.

Subject line

This is crucial.

Make it simple as the subject line is your best friend if you want your e-mail to be read. It should be short enough to be legible in a push notification. Also, clearly communicate what the email is all about.

Content

Don’t be fooled, it can be very hard to write a clear and concise e-mail. Try by getting to the point right away, while using short sentences and plain language. Make sure that the purpose of your e-mail is absolved of any doubt. Nobody should be forced to read your e-mail twice just to understand the basic aim of receiving that particular message.

When having a dilemma, remember one somewhat basic rule:

If you can’t keep the email under a reasonable length, set up a meeting.

And, of course, stick to one topic and one topic only per e-mail!

CC with restraint

If people somehow would miraculously stop and delete a few CCs from time to time, much of the almost 3 hours that are spent daily in a work inbox would be saved and used in a more constructive way.

And those who request visibility on a project, just CC them. All of the others – reconsider first and restrain yourself from including them.

Write first and only then edit

Let your flow of thought do all the work first. After letting it all out, sit and read it. Cut out all the extra words/sentences that are not needed and then proof-read it. If English is not your native language, use some tools such as Grammarly, just to be on the safe side.

Don’t get crazy with attachments 

The most elegant way not to fill up the correspondent’s e-mail box with a huge file is to upload it to an online storage site and mail the link to the receiver instead. And control yourself when it comes to sending many small documents, as well. No one wants to be cluttered and burdened to dig through your more than generous attachment gift. Just like when writing an e-mail, be clear and concise when it comes to attaching data to it.

Be polite and kind

If you get upset by someone’s e-mail, practice 24-hour rule to reply. This way you’ll calm down and won’t be sending a passive-aggressive or openly angry e-mail, even if you’re right on the issue. Other than that, try your best to be polite and kind in your communication.

Teodesk and e-mail communication

By using these simple tips, you can make your e-mail communication more effective. By using Teodesk, you can write off many unnecessary e-mails you receive and send.

How?

Teodesk is created to always ensure efficient and effective communication between all levels of the business is essential. Also, it can help you to keep all information centralized and accessible from anywhere. Especially when you need to keep track information that is scattered through multiple channels. We’ve experienced files, messages and important emails seemingly disappearing when we need them the most.

Now, with Teodesk you can send parallel internal messages and external e-mail on a single task, avoiding unnecessary traditional e-mail communication. It can all now be organized within boards and stages.

Of course, all communication within a board is transparent. This creates a healthy flow of communication between managers and their team, with no need for micromanagement.

When you add delegation to the mix, your inbox can go on vacation! Avoid long and exhausting e-mail conversations about who is doing what.

Let us all be considerate.

Cluttering an inbox is getting out of fashion. Use e-mail when the situation requires it. When there is, give it a break. Teodesk will be more than happy to help you in that process.

Get weekly updates

Subscribe to Teodesk newsletter to get the newest business trends straight into your inbox!

If you subscribe to our Newsletter we will use your e-mail address for sending you our Newsletter information.

I agree with Privacy Policy

You might like these stories