Is Your e-mail Getting Through?

03 Oct 2005

I’m not talking about whether it arrives in someone’s mailbox. I’m talking about the contents of the message you are sending. Does the recipient know why you sent it? What they are supposed to do about it?

A recent survey by Information Mapping Inc. revealed that 80 percent of those surveyed think e-mail writing skills are “extremely” or “very” important to the effectiveness of doing their jobs. The results showed that approximately 65 percent spend from one to three hours per day reading and writing e-mails, with 40 percent “wasting” 30 minutes to three hours reading “ineffectively” written e-mails.

Among the primary challenges and issues concerning e-mails that the survey exposed were:
• Recipient is not clear as to what should be done or how to act on the information.
• Content is disorganized.
• Critical information is missing or hard to find.
• Content is too long, wordy and difficult to read.

I read about this in Business Casual, the daily e-mail column by Crain’s Detroit Business Editor Bob Allen. I’d like to give credit where credit is due. His column not only gives me fodder for conversation, it also makes me laugh and think and learn. He’s a great writer.

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