Long or Short Emails? Part 2

In Part 1, I wrote why it’s a good idea to write emails the way the recipient prefers to read them. By doing this, you show tremendous consideration for them and their time and also improve productivity.

Yet, the are many times when you need to write an email to a group of people with different preferences. In this case, it’s very useful to tailor your email message to accommodate all types of readers — including those that prefer in-depth and brief descriptions. I believe this should be standard practice when writing emails to a large group — all of whom read and absorb information in very different ways.

To do this, begin the email with your central message and expectations. Consider this your “blurb” that effectively addresses the issue quickly and concisely. Make sure this addresses any specifics, such as deadlines. Next, write the details of the project indicating that these can be read at their leisure or used as reference. It’s that simple. You may want to give these sections titles or bold the “blurb” section, but this completely up to your preference.

Take a look at this example:

Hi team,

PRESSING INFORMATION: Submit your numbers from last quarter to me on Friday, no later than 2 pm.

I’ll review how well our team performed. Next week, I’ll ask for your input on the new script’s effectiveness. Then, we’ll make any needed revisions and finalize a killer script.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Corporate created this new script to appeal to a wider market, especially younger technicians in medical device industries. Pay close attention to how effective your sales calls have been using the new script. For example, does the conversation feel forced? Do you wish you could change a few phrases? How could the conversations’ tone be improved, especially when dealing with medical device companies?

As a team, we’ll submit our feedback and ideas for improvement to corporate by the end of next quarter. It’s important that we discuss our ideas with one another and learn how everyone feels. We will hold a few brain-storming sessions and I welcome individual feedback via email as well. Watch out for invitations to the brain-storming sessions.

Your input is vital to improving the way we talk to potential clients — and improving our performance.



Readers who prefer short, deadline-orientated messages will only read the “pressing information” section, then read the “background information” section when they have more time. Readers who like to know the details surrounding the tasks you’re asking them to do will read both sections. All of your readers will be able to quickly read and absorb the information, and quickly get things done.


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