4 features every executive email should have

Communications experts say loading up executive emails with too much decoration doesn’t do anything but prove the message came from someone other than the credited exec.

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This is the second article in a three-part content series on engaging employees via email. This series, in partnership with PoliteMail, offers tips and multiple ways to improve your internal email communication.

Anyone who has worked at a big company has probably received an email in which the “from” line has the CEO’s name, but the actual contents were very obviously written by a team of communicators.

There are some giveaways, says Brad Langford, Cisco Systems’ manager of business operations for the service platforms group. Among them are fancy headers and big pictures of the executive from whom the message supposedly came.

When Langford was sending out executive emails with all those bells and whistles, “people weren’t really reading it,” he says. His statistics from the email measurement client PoliteMail bore that out. The emails were going into “to be read” piles, and then possibly never revisited.

“There was too much to look at, too much frosting on the cake, so to speak,” Langford says.

So what really gets people’s attention when it comes to executive emails? Langford and other internal communications pros offered some advice.

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