Seven Great me great email tips from Keith Ferrazzi.
1. Hey, Boss: Don’t be afraid to email your boss. In a recent IBM study, researchers found that employees with strong email links to a manager produced an extra $588 of revenue per month over the norm. (If your manager gripes, share the study: http://smallblue.research.ibm.com/publications/Utah-ValueOfSocialNetworks.pdf.)
2. Cross Divisions: In that same study, they found that employees who wrote to a more diverse circle of recipients created more revenue. So think broadly when reaching out to colleagues for help in problem-solving or for information.
3. P’s and Q’s: We email the same people over and over again. Sometimes that means we drop the niceties. When email becomes an ongoing conversation, that’s OK. But in your general practice, take the extra second to include a salutation or a “thank you.” Also: Reread and edit emails before sending.
4. The Spastic Blackberry: Ever hastily read an email and sent a reply while you’re in the middle of something else – walking, having lunch, boarding a plane – and realized later you’d created confusion in your less-than-well-thought-out response? (My staff has taken me to task for this, since I’m so often on the road, and I’ve worked hard to improve it!) Resist the urge to multitask so much you don’t give each communication the respect and focus it deserves.
5. Brevity and Levity: Make emails as short as possible (shoot for 50 words or less) and don’t be afraid to show personality and throw in some humor. Stay focused on the message, of course, but enjoy writing it.
6. Universal Currency: Emails are a wonderful ground for universal currency – i.e. genuine compliments. Why not add a “PS” to at least one message a day, complimenting a colleague on something he or she’s done well?
7. Provide a Service: The event planner at my company sends the entire office brief, bi-weekly updates on fun stuff upcoming in LA. The emails put everyone in a good mood, and they’re a great emblem of her personality (outgoing hostess-with-the-most-ess). What service could you offer? It might be related to your job, or it might be a hobby or a passion that has universal appeal. You don’t need to spend much time on it; the key is to do it regularly.