They psychology of email: How to get your message read

More and more organizations are willing to pay hourly coaching fees to help leaders develop missing skills. I can say this, not because I’ve read the research, but because my coaching business is booming.

So what do people need to learn to stay on the fast track? They ask for stuff like grammar and sentence structure but what they really need to know is how to connect with another human being. Here are a few tips:

Say what you mean. Clearly. Leave out the history and your opinion. When you’re done writing, go back through and eliminate 20% of the words.

Be approachable. Stop talking about what you think, want or do. It’s all about the recipient. Always.

Be specific. Be certain your reader knows exactly what s/he or you will do next.

Use correct grammar. Think of how helpful a stop sign is at an intersection. It helps traffic flow. Correct grammar does the same. And if you’re ¬†sooooo busy that you don’t have time for grammar*, get someone else to write for you.

Be clear in your purpose. Before you start writing, know what your message should accomplish for you and for your reader.

Identify your “pet” phrases. We all have them. Phrases that are meaningless to the other person but we like using them. Eliminate those phrases.

Remember your reader. More than that, become your reader. Visualize them reading your message. Are you really talking with them or writing like you’re floating above them, don’t know them, aren’t one of them? It’s not about what you want to say; it’s about what you want them to identify with, grasp, do.

*No one is that busy.

What other ideas do you have to increase persuasion and productivity?