Emails are a great power for communicating information, and excellent for consistently reaching a broad audience, especially across different time zones.
However, emailing can face many problems.
Productfocus has described some of them in their post. Here the extracts:
Lost in transfer. According to statistics, email is losing 80% of the information. We often use idioms and metaphors to explain things but forget about mental differences, especially when talking across cultural boundaries.
Too many emails. No one can handle many emails and do some work that adds value.
Inverse productivity. Have you ever noticed that for every email you send, you receive 2-3 more back? That’s right. ‘You’ are the source of your slavery to email.
Ping-pong game. Sending messages back and forth to your team members is like a virtual ping-pong. It’s also not very efficient.
No one reads long emails. If you write more than a few lines, people scan the content at best, but they do not truly read and digest the material.
How to improve emails and make them powerful?
Set your own email rules that include:
- What to use email for
- Select a single channel for the message
- Add response time expectations
- Be clear when to Reply/Reply to all/Cc
Create guides for the emails structure that includes:
- Subject line contents
- Keep it short
- Use easy language
- Actions/decisions at first
- Back info later
Turn off notifications
Getting these rules right for how you manage your time and communication channels can be a significant contribution. And remember, emailing is a great medium when used correctly.