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Email Writing Tips 12 – Not too Soft


Overly soft messages are another of the world’s leading causes of slow or no email cooperation. Your email message is hardly the only one in the recipient’s inbox: it’s competing for that recipient’s precious time and response with a pile of probably 50-100 other messages. So how do you get your message to the top of the pile? Some common techniques are to:

a. Avoid unclear and thus easily deleted communication (I was thinking the system might not be such a good idea. > We need to discuss a potential problem with the system.)

b. Give specific deadlines (by 5:00 LA time) rather than no or unclear deadlines such as ASAP

c. Add powerful reasons to your requests, deadlines and confirmations (Please confirm by 1:00 this afternoon as I promised to get back with the client by 1:30.)

d. Not make it too easy to reject or delay their response by changing soft phrases like: If possible, I was wondering if you could …? to Sorry for the rush, but we need …

With these techniques, your messages can climb to the top of their inbox.