Tips for making sure your email doesn’t get tossed

The designation TL;DR stands for ‘Too long; didn’t read,’ and it’s a death knell for your missive. Try these steps to ensure your message gets the attention it deserves.

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I opened the email from my smartphone. Then, I closed it.


If you’re not familiar with TL;DR, it means “too long; didn’t read.”

Most working professionals don’t have time for lengthy, information-packed emails. We’re inundated with information, most of which we access through a mobile device. Add to that our innate desire for self-preservation, which is a nice way of saying that even the kindest among us are thinking of our own needs first:

Within seconds of opening your message, readers decide whether to continue reading or file it under “TL;DR.”

Here are some quick steps to avoid the latter:

Ask: What’s my point?

The most effective emails have a big idea or central point. What big idea do you want to communicate? Think about the goal of your email. Do you want to incite action, influence thinking or simply inform? If you’re not clear about why you’re communicating, then your reader won’t be either.

OK, now get to it.

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