Effective Email Communication – Abbreviated*
Effective email communication hinges on the effective use of the subject line. Here’s an example of a good subject line:
ACTION by Fri 3/1: Reply with thoughts for Vision Magazine articles
(color coding to help with explanation below)
- Key word: Start with the key word of: ACTION or FYI
- Deadline: If an action is needed, give the date that the action is needed by.
- Action Needed: If action is needed, give an action verb for what the person needs to do. Address emails like you're writing a to-do list item for the recipient.
- Context: Give some more context for what the body of the email holds.
- If all that you needed to tell someone can be written in the subject line, then use “EOM” for end of message – example: “FYI: Birthday cupcakes in kitchen provided by Judy. EOM”
- Who is on the email: Don’t CC people unless it’s really necessary that they have the information and it’s clear why they’re on the message; otherwise it’s one more email in their inbox.
- Body of the email: Use the first two to three sentences of your email to define who needs to take what action by when.
- If you are sending the email to a group of people, note in the email what group it is going to.
- Indicate if the email can/should be shared and the people whom it should be shared with.
- Replying to emails: Not every email needs a reply. When you do reply, make sure that your replies are actionable and relevant.
* For a more detailed document on effective email communication, please contact Alecia Gray (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Revised: March 6, 2019