HOA Protip: E-Mail Writing

Image Source: onwardstate.com

Image Source: onwardstate.com

In the May/June issue of Community Manager, the article, “Before You Press Send” discusses the importance of creating clear, concise e-mails that “won’t get ignored.”  In the world of community and property management, there is a lot of information being sent back and forth electronically.  Whether you’re a manager, administrator, homeowner, board member, or vendor, you’re essentially in a competition for electronic attention.  Creating an e-mail that is not only professional, but clear enough to convey what you want or need right away is the best way to insure that you get attention.

Bryan A. Garner, writer for HBR’s Blog Network, gives some pointers for efficient e-mail writing:

  • Start with a short, descriptive subject line.
  • Keep your message brief — within one screen capture — and direct.
  • Make any requests for information or action clear and succinct.  Include deadlines.
  • If your message must contain descriptive text or narratives, structure the information chronologically and with a “clear beginning, middle, and end.”

Forbes.com also produced a list of tips for e-mail writing by Helen Coster:

  • Avoid metaphors.
  • Keep language simple and avoid needless words.
  • Use English rather than jargon or slang.
  • Don’t use exclamation points (!), characters or symbols.

Along with these tips, e-mailers must remember that once the message is sent, you cannot take it back.  In order to optimize your correspondance, you must remember that everyone’s time is valuable.  The better crafted the e-mail, the more smoothly everything goes.