We all could use a friend to show us how we can improve our business writing skills. You’ve probably sent thousands of emails without anyone saying anything about your writing style, but that silence doesn’t mean you write perfect emails. In fact, you could be making mistakes that diminish your credibility and waste your time.
For instance, think of the number of conference calls you’ve led, even though you could send the same information in an email. How many meetings have swallowed hours of time rehashing topics someone already summarized in an email?
Keep this list of email mistakes near your computer and refer to it before you hit send:
Mistake 1: Your email is too long
If the reader has to keep scrolling to view unstructured thoughts, the email can come across as unimportant, patronizing or careless.
Solution: Set a 300-word limit and stick to it. A 300-word limit forces you to clearly state your purpose and eliminate needless words. Provide your readers with a reasonable amount of information.
Mistake 2: Your email is too vague
People decide which emails to read, file or delete at iPod speed. iPod speed is the time it takes to look or listen to the first few seconds of a song, presentation or email and choose to keep it or move to the next one.