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Monday, March 13, 2017

Emails: Read with Responses

There are two approaches to writing an email. One is a casual approach that you would use for a quick note to a friend. The other is more professional. This type of email contains information for someone in authority, a committee chair, or any other professional. You expect this email to be read and, if necessary, a response.

The Subject Line: Vital and necessary!

The first thing the email recipient sees is your name and the subject line. So in an email that you want to be sure is read, it is imperative that the subject line clearly states the purpose of your email. In addition, it tells them what you want them to do with your note.

The next time you write the subject line, begin it with an action such as INFO NEEDED:   ACTION NEEDED:  REQUEST:  FOLLOW UP NEEDED:  DECISION NEEDED:  SHARE THIS:  INFO:

SHARE THIS: State newsletter
INFO NEEDED: Chairs of Committees
REQUEST:  Status of project

This type of subject line also makes it easier to locate an email at a later time.

The Body: Brief and to the point

After a salutation, the body of your email should begin with your bottom line.  
Dear Shannon,

Bottom Line (the very heart of your email): This newsletter link should be shared with all chapter members.

The remainder of your email should give BACKGROUND: additional instructions and other pertinent information done in an economical manner. Every word matters and useless prose doesn’t. Be crisp in your delivery.

Even if you do have an automatically attached signature, close your email with a professional closing and your name.

If you really need a response, your closing should be "Thanks in advance," because that phrasing actually works.

 A complete example:

Give this method a try, especially the subject line idea. Let us know if it works for you. Once you get in the habit, you will see its usefulness.

Original graphic from Pixabay CC0. Customized by Eileen


  1. I like the suggestions regarding the subject line. I'll give it a try and see if response rate improves.

  2. Let me know how well it works for you.

  3. I like this! Succinct and no misunderstanding importance factor!


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