5 Things You Should NEVER Do In Your E-mail If You Want People To Actually Read It

09 May 2016
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We all know "Yours sincerely" isn't actually a sincere greeting.

We probably spend much more time than we’d like answering emails at work. Here’s how to make it better, one email at a time.



1. Be boring

It seems like we’re stating the obvious, but it’s surprisingly hard to not be boring when sending work emails. (Smiley faces are but a feeble attempt.) 

Generate curiosity in your e-mail header:

image: sendgrid.com

Sneaky, or smart? 

The most beautifully-crafted emails are but for naught if they don’t get opened in the first place. Pique your recipient’s interest – your subject line is your best bet. 


2. Send impersonal “cold e-mails”

Just e-met your recipient? Highlight something you have in common (the more uncommon, the better), or even a mutual contact, and make your email personal – people tend to trust others similar to themselves. Use their names to engage them.

People love it – there’s a whole science behind it!


3. Ramble

Brevity is the soul of wit – and effective emails. 

We live in a 140-character world, so remember: you’re not writing a memoir. Nobody likes reading emails, so go for the lesser evil and make your message as concise as possible.


4. Be inconclusive

Include a call to action – if you’re asking to meet for coffee, propose a time and date; if you’re asking for a task to get done, include a deadline.  


5. thank people repeatedly. 

Thanks for trying to sound polite, but as ironic as it might be, thanking your recipient in every other sentence might end up making you sound actually not that thankful. So avoid this trap. Thanks!


By Pinky Chng, May 2016


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