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How can you write more effective emails? Expert Kim Arnold’s new book explains the ins and outs of good email practice.
It is calculated that the average white collar worker spends around five hours on email every weekday, despite all the new alternative communication channels that have sprung up in recent years. A report by Radicati estimates the number of global email users will grow to 4.48 billion by 2024.
However, a new book says many of us are wasting huge amounts of time by not writing our emails in a way that delivers maximum results. Consultant Kim Arnold says it’s no surprise that we are getting it wrong because we’ve never been taught how to do it right. Her book, Email Attraction, goes back to basics.
It starts with what not to do. For instance, the importance of avoiding a reflex emotional response. Instead, wait before you reply, think about the language you use and whether it could accidentally upset the recipient, imagine you are face to face with them and, in extremis, get a second more objective opinion.
Arnold argues that email is about connection and conversation so it should always be more about the recipient than the sender. That means avoiding starting by talking about yourself, for instance, ‘I’m writing to tell you about my business…’ The important thing is to consider who you are writing to, tailor the email to that person and reflect their style and think about what you want to happen as a result of you sending that email and why the recipient should care about what you are emailing about.
Arnold advises avoiding formal, stuffy language, business jargon and the passive voice [’employees are invited to participate…’] and using contractions such as it’s instead of it is and ‘us’ and ‘we’ to create a sense of connection.
When it comes to the body of the email, Arnold argues that less is more and that emails need to be as brief as possible, making use of white space [ie not cramming several ideas into one long paragraph with lots of long twisty sentences].
She says emails should have three distinct parts:
Other advice includes:
*Email attraction: get what you want every time you hit send by Kim Arnold is published by Rethink, price £12.99.