Your number one way of communicating with your small group leadership and members is email. Invented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965, email has exploded in use and distribution. Everyone has it, can navigate it, and they use it. And texting is just an arbitrarily shortened form of email.
Whenever you first started using email, what have you done recently to improve your emailing abilities? Getting an email out quickly might make you feel productive, but it can create misinformation, confusion, and additional work if not done properly.
Creating a good email is not accidental, it’s intentional. It takes practice, work, re-work, drafting, redrafting.
Here are the five top tips to tackle, making your email effectiveness and energy grow.
Tip 1 – Single Goal
Craft your email with a single goal. If it gets too long or complicated, remember the words of Miss. Birdy to Rudy Baylor in the movie, The Rainmaker, “Cut, cut, cut(1).” Shorter is always, always, always better.
Tip 2 – Short Subjects
The title or subject of emails needs to be short. They are easier to understand and seen on cell phones. Since cell phone email displays around 30 characters, get the meat, if not all, of your subject across quickly.
Tip 3 – Spoiler Endings
Curiosity always works in your favor. Save the most interesting, exciting part of your Single Goal email for the last point, the last paragraph.
Tip 4 – Speak Concisely
Most of us write differently than we speak. Go against the flow and write your emails just like you speak. Read it out loud. Does it sound like you? Does it use the same kind of words and expressions you use in your speech? Can you a simpler, smaller words? Can you use two words instead of five?
Tip 5 – Spirited Words
People take action less on facts and more on emotions. You only have a few seconds to make your point, so make it with words that make people feel, and make it fast. Use short sentences and bulleted lists.
Remember Rick Warren’s opening line in The Purpose Driven Life? “It’s not about you.” The email is not about you, but communicating and motivating people in your small groups. Reinventing your email persona is not easy. It takes work, retraining yourself.