Write Backwards

Write Backwards

What you include in an email, how you sequence the information, and what you write in your subject line can affect the quality and number of responses you receive.

Be as specific as possible in your subject line. Include dates, deadlines, need a response by… so that your email stands out. Front-load the most important information at the beginning of the email—for instance, start with the action the recipient needs to take, and let them know if a reply to your email is necessary.

Time management expert and author Frank Buck recommends that you “write your emails backwards. First add attachments, then compose the text, compose the subject line, and save addressing your email for last.

“You can send an email even though you forgot an attachment, a subject, or even the text itself. But, you cannot send an email without a properly-formatted email address in the address line. Save this step for last.

“Write your email backwards. See if it doesn’t help you escape some of the typical email blunders.”

Do your part to reduce email clutter. And remember: if you’re not getting a response, you can always pick up the phone!

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