Michael W. Byrnes, Jr.
As the social media “revolution” continues to change the world, an increasing number of communications are exchanged online. The benefit is that we all have access to endless amounts of information. The drawback is that it can be quite overwhelming.
In an era of information overload, here is some advice to help you become more successful with your electronic communications during these tough times.
Tips on writing successful networking and business emails:
1. Have a powerful subject line. If the message has an intriguing or impactful description, it is much more likely to get opened.
2. Keep it short and sweet. It takes longer to read online, so avoid long-winded paragraphs.
3. Increase ‘scanability’. Use bolded subheads. Break blocks of text up by using bullets.
4. Make it easier to read. Pick a serif font (e.g. Arial) that is easier to read online compared to sans serif font (e.g. Time New Roman). Note: the opposite is true for printed material.
5. Eliminate mistakes. Never forget to use spell check and look for grammatical errors.
6. Don’t hit send right away. If the email is important, walk away from your computer, clear your head and return to your first draft to take a fresh look at it. Usually it’s easier to see mistakes after taking a break.
7. Ask for proofreading help. Have a friend read your content to verify that it is clear and concise.
8. Don’t forget to ask. Have your call to action clearly stated. Consider reiterating it in the conclusion.
9. Use a professional email signature. This does not refer to a scanned in autograph, but instead a well-designed listing of your name and contact information.
10. Join or update LinkedIn. Microsoft Outlook now has a feature that pulls a brief profile (including your picture from LinkedIn), giving readers another tool to scan their in boxes to decide what emails they want to read.
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Michael W. Byrnes, Jr. is the President of Byrnes Consulting, LLC in Charlestown. www.byrnesconsulting.com