As a business owner, you’ll already be well aware of the importance of sharp communication skills. You’ve probably attended plenty of training sessions on face-to-face communications, and extensively practiced your effectiveness when it comes to leading meetings and getting teams onboard with wider goals and objectives.
But what about email? These days, it’s likely to be one of the most common ways in which you touch base with your staff. Could you be missing the mark? For many, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Here are our tips for improving your email communications…
Use subject lines effectively
Subject lines are super powerful, but they’re rarely used to their full potential. Consider for a second how they’re used by marketers. If you take a peek into your personal inbox right now, you’re likely to be faced by countless carefully crafted subject lines that are designed to get you to click open that email, and ultimately, take a desired action. They aren’t just cobbled together in a flash. They’re an art form in their own right.
Of course, you don’t need a degree in marketing to write a decent subject line when you’re simply communicating with your team. You don’t need to go through the same process of picking apart human behaviour and the art of influence. Still though, perhaps your subject lines could benefit from a little more thought. Is it clear what the email is about, and what action you require?
Get to the point
Thanks to the internet, our attention spans are fairly rapidly decreasing. People are busy, they have tasks to take care of, and being stuck in your inbox all day is rarely productive. With email, less is often more. Cut out the waffle, and summarise the key point in the first couple of lines.
If you have a tendency to over explain, or you’re concerned that the information might cause confusion, then simply ask the recipient if they have any questions. This way, you’re cutting down on the time required to write unnecessarily lengthy emails, and you’re making sure that your staff have precisely the information that they need.
Follow up important messages with a call or face-to-face discussion
Email is a blessing for businesses, and it makes communication much easier. In fact, many of us would now prefer to receive a simple email than have to arrange a call, or travel to a meeting. But remember that particularly when you’re communicating something that is important or sensitive, it can pay to follow up an email with a more traditional method of communication.
We love email. But don’t get into the habit of hiding behind it, and risk losing your face-to-face skills or the personal touch with your employees.
Our reliance on email over the next few years is likely to increase, and most of us don’t really give our messages too much thought. By putting these tips into action though, you could improve your relationship with your team, and ramp up productivity. Are there any additional tips that you’d add to the list?