An interesting observation was made in a client workshop a while back about how much time the group has reclaimed since we did a deep dive into the structure and function of their email communications. Here’s the formula they’re using now that might also be useful for you:
TO: only those people who need to act
CC: only those people who need to be informed
BCC: for moving people on and off threads where they’ve made a connection but don’t need to stay on the thread
Body: Call to action first, context after, all brief and to the point (since email is much better for information sharing and updates and requests than for delicate conversations or anything else requiring nuance), use links instead of attachments where possible and expect that email is for ‘non-urgent’ matters.
Salutations and Signoffs: Personable
They also used the opportunity to clarify who needed to be on a thread, when and why because they realized that every time they add someone to the email chain, it costs money. As a result, their org chart is a lot clearer too and now they spend their time in meetings or on Slack, acting, making decisions, and getting much better responses from their customers on email.
When I’m working on appearance related matters with clients, I often say “There’s more in the closet than clothes.” It seems this is true of email too. And for my client’s company, the deep dive and subsequent clarity meant a $250K reclamation of time in the first three months post session. Not bad, for ‘just an email workshop’. Where might you save, too?