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The Art of Crafting Effective Emails

Email remains one of the most crucial communication tools for administrative professionals. While the novelty of receiving emails has long worn off, their volume and urgency can still trigger anxiety and sleeplessness. As a former Chief Executive Assistant, I realized I had become a robotic machine – inputting data, sending replies, often with little thought given to how I communicated. My primary goal was to clear my inbox as quickly as possible to move on to the next task.

However, I finally decided to change my approach to email. My goal now is to make my replies more personal, fostering better connections, receiving quicker responses, building relationships (even with challenging executive assistants), and having more successful interactions overall. Here are some strategies I've incorporated:

  1. Be judicious with cc's and avoid "reply all" unless everyone needs to be involved. Unnecessary cc's and reply-alls can spark email firestorms.

  2. Craft specific, attention-grabbing subject lines like "Urgent, need date" or use humor like "Free Cheeseburgers" when appropriate. Update subject lines as conversations evolve.

  3. Use unconventional greetings instead of "Hope you're well" – something creative like "Is the sun shining where you are?" A quirky opener can defuse tense situations.

  4. Keep emails concise and bulleted for easy reading. Avoid novels that get glazed over.

  5. Summarize previous email threads instead of including entire strings that require re-reading.

  6. Sign off creatively with encouragement or positive notes like "Thanks for giving me the reading time."

  7. Use personalized email signatures with quotes or pictures to add a human touch.

 In essence, view emails as opportunities to connect with others genuinely. Much of our success hinges on fostering these "human" connections through our digital communications.


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