In Germany, we receive on average more than twenty business-related e-mails per day – almost twice as much as three years before. If we assume a serious processing, then reading and answering takes on average five minutes, which leads to more than one and a half hours of email time without working on the actual task. The more emails someone receives, the less time remains for the work resulting in poor quality and email ping pong whereby the burden of emails increases continuously. Although one could reduce the effort for all participants by a conscious email handling and a certain self-discipline – e.g. by a common Em@ilette.
The following approaches could increase the quality of an email and thus reduce the processing time for everyone.
Lengthy self-adulation undermines the recipients’ attention. More value is created for them by formulating the message from their point of view. This so-called PERYOU takes the interests of the addressees into account and is limited to what is expected of them.
Thus, listing offers, which do not differ eventually from those of the competitors, does not
create any curiosity – “We deliver the newest …”
Writing from the viewpoint of the recipients, than one considers their language, thinking, inner state and situation – “You avoid with this … “
The senders often think that they have to explain their problems to the receivers. One reason could be the justification or excuse for a late or incomplete delivery. Or to valorize the own achievement by explaining the difficulty of the task. Or one doesn’t know what to say, because there is currently no solution. Or one cannot anticipate the target group and therefore cannot apply PERYOU.
The detailed description of the problem and its causes extend the discussion and still does not provide a solution – “Implementation is difficult, because we encounter everywhere resistance, which leads to …”
Whereas looking at the solution describes the future result – “You get …”
The English abbreviation KISS (i.e. Keep It Simple, Smart) means in German ‘Brevity is the soul of the spice’. The shorter an email, the easier it can be processed. You’ve found the right length, when you can’t delete anything. Simple and short sentences have a maximum of 12 words. You avoid all kinds of filler words (see below). Clarity is enhanced by one thought per sentence, one topic per paragraph and no more than fiveplusminustwo topics per email.
In most cases, active instead of passive sentences and verbs instead of substantiations lead to a better understanding – “The administrator activates your account today. Tomorrow you can use the new feature.”
The icing on the cake in effective emails is positive formulations that clearly name the content – “You get …” instead of the undefined negative sentence “You cannot get everything.“
In addition, formal aspects can be built into an Em@ilette: a meaningful subject line; clear rules for the use of CC; suggestions for personal salutations; examples of appropriate greetings; a basic structure of the content, such as introduction, main body, binding closure, and so on.
Bottom line: The mutual exchange of information plays an important role in our everyday lives. In addition to personal meetings, the written exchange of information has shifted from physical letters to e-mails. The possibilities and the continuous acceleration create “faster disasters” for those involved. Therefore it makes sense to consider the right use of email. With this article you have an impression of the possibilities in terms of content: Recipient and solution orientation and the shortness of an email. The fact that the number of emails is increasing demonstrates that Em@ilettes are becoming also for you increasingly important.
P.S. Some filler words
a little bit, a long time ago, absolutely, accordingly, actually, adequately, after all, after that, again, all, all around, all in all, almost, already, also, always, any, anyone, anyway, apparently, approximately, as follows, as it were, as well … as, assuredly, at all, at best, at last, at least, at long last, at the most, barely, basically, bluntly, but, by all appearances, by far, by no means, by the way, carefully, certainly, clearly, commonly, comparatively, completely, conceivably, consequently, consistently, constantly, decisively, definitely, downright, each, easy, especially, even, ever, everywhere, evidently, exactly, exceedingly, excellent, here and there, existent, expressly, extremely, fairly, few, finally, for real, for sure, for the second time, for the umpteenth time, for this, formally, fortunately, frequently, from time to time, fully, furthermore, generally known, heartily, here and there, however, I think, I would say, I believe, in a way, in all clearness, in any case, in approximately, in contrast, in general, in itself, in and of itself, in my opinion, in places, in principle, in spite of everything, in this context, in turn, incessantly, incredibly, indeed, indisputably, indubitably, irrelevant, just, just like that, largely, maybe, meanwhile, mind you, more or less, moreover, most of time, mostly, multiple, namely, naturally, nearly, never, nevertheless, nonetheless, now, now and then, obviously, occasionally, oddly enough, of course, often, on the one hand, on the other hand, once, once again, finally, one more time, only, originally, partout, per se, plentiful, possibly, practically, preferably, presumably, presumed, probably, quite, rarely, really, recently, regardless, relatively, repeatedly, senseless, several, simply, smoothly, so, so to say, so to speak, somehow, something, sometime, sometimes, somewhere, straight, straightway, strictly, strikingly, substantially, suddenly, sustained, Thank God, the truth is, theoretically, there, thereby, therefore, ultimately, unconscionable, under no circumstances, undoubtedly, unequivocally, unfortunately, unquestionably, unspeakably, usually, very, visibly, well, without doubt, without exception, without this, yet, you could say