If you are like most people, you get tens, if not hundreds of email messages a day. How do you keep them organized or easily know what to do with them?
One of the strategies we employ at Internet & Telephone, LLC is to use better subject lines, so recipients immediately know what is required of them in relation to the message they just received. We are also very deliberate about who to put in the “To” field and who to put in the “Cc” field.
Here are some examples to help you craft your own improved email strategy:
- When sending an email message, only put the people that need to act on the message in the “To” field. Put everyone else in the “Cc” field. Recipients in the “Cc” field should not be expected to reply and are include only for informational purposes.
- Use more meaningful subjects. Here are some examples:
- FYI; Lead the subject line with “FYI” if your message is purely information and you do not expect a response. For example, “FYI: Revised time for upcoming event.”
- Response Required; Lead the subject line with “Response Required” when you need a response from recipients in the “To” field. For example, “Response Required: Sign-Up Times for New Benefit Plan.”
- Decision Needed; Lead the subject with the line “Decision Needed” when you need a decision from recipients in the “To” field. For example, “Decision Needed: New Paint Color for Conference Room.”
- Use Client Names when messages relate to a client. For example, “Ajax Cleaning: Update on office cleaning contract.”
When appropriate, you might also have more that one of these in the same subject line, for example when you need a decision related to a client. In that case, you would have “Decision Needed; Ajax Cleaning,” etc. Hopefully you get the idea.
Simple tricks like this will help you be more efficient with your email and perhaps most importantly, with the messages you send to others.
What does your company do for strategies like this? Post your comments below and share your email best practices and learn from others.