Email Etiquette: Twitter-ize your message

One of the most charming things about Twitter is that you have to say what you want to say in 140 characters. And it’s amazing how everyone can do it. Abbreviations are used, yes, but more than that, people take time to post thoughtful and complete tweets.

I thought of this when I was reading Will’s post: Releasing Software: Bringing order out of chaos. He says “the biggest factor effecting how likely I am to read and process an email is how long it is. ”  And, he added, “I need to be either interested or feel responsible for the outcome of the email by sentence two.” (The bold is his)

He’s right. I’d like to start a  “Twitter-ize email” movement. Here would be the movement’s guidelines:

Keep it brief but not blunt.

Be direct, clear, concise and positive.

Write  from the recipient’s viewpoint. Say what they need to know, not what’s nice to know. 

Respect their time. Make it easy for them to read (caps and lower case, punctuation, proper spelling). Y

Make it easy for them to act. Suggest the next step and ask their approval or to confirm.

Want to join? What else should the movement include?

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