Reading List: Write Better Email

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How to Write an “I’m leaving my job” Email That Won’t Burn Bridges
You’ve given HR your two weeks notice. You’ve archived your email, returned the back issues of professional journals to the company library, even packed up your sad-looking work sweater and black pumps. The last task? Writing your I’m leaving my job email.

How to Write a Condolence for a Coworker
My colleague, Frank, seemed distracted. He was taking days to respond to emails and ignoring voicemails altogether. Then I received this bombshell of an email from him…

Formatting business emails? Less is always more
Back away from the caps lock. Hands off the background colors. When it comes to formatting emails, less is always more. If you’ve ever received an email like this one you know what I am talking about? This email is proof that too much formatting makes your email unreadable…

Video Interview: How to Improve Email Response Time
Watch my video interview with Jeff Toister of Toister Performance Solutions. Jeff conducts an annual survey on email response time, asking “How fast do you expect a response to an email you send to a business?” and “How quickly should you respond to an email from a business? A coworker? A friend?” Jeff and I discuss this year’s survey, which revealed that email response time expectations continue to escalate: 16.5% of respondents want a business to reply within an hour, 13% will wait four hours, and 43.4% want a response within one day.

Seven Ways a Single Marketing Email Can Destroy Your Relationship With Customers
This “Did we miss your birthday?” marketing email from a local business is a primer on what NOT to do. If you want to convince loyal customers to block you from sending them emails and to shop elsewhere, you’ll follow this shop’s lead. Read on to learn from this marketer’s mistakes…

Effective E-Mails, from Subject Line to Signature
E-mails are so much a part of our daily communication that we often dash them off without much thought. But thoughtful, effective e-mails accomplish what the writer intended. Read these tips for writing better e-mail subject lines, openings, closings, bodies, calls to action, closings, and signatures.

Three e-mails that prove my inbox is weirder than yours
Recently, I was doing a deep-clean on my inbox (also known as “taking a break” from a demanding writing project), and I came across some e-mail objets d’art I’d saved. I thought I’d share these three gems with you. The sender’s names have been changed, of course.

This “I’ve quit” e-mail has pitch-perfect tone
When this e-mail landed in my inbox, I just had to say “wow.” It’s not easy to send an e-mail to nearly everyone at work explaining that you’re leaving because you’ve gotten a better job in a much warmer and hipper place. Jane Doe’s “I’ve quit” e-mail sets just the right tone, offers just the right amount of information, and shows just the right regard for her replacement.

Shut down by the duck? Read this rejection e-mail from Aflac
Ever wondered what it would be like to receive a brush-off e-mail from a corporation’s animal mascot? Well, wonder no more. Here’s the “no thanks” e-mail a friend’s son received after he tried out to replace the inappropriate Gilbert Gottfried as the Aflac Duck. From the desk of The Aflac Duck Dear Friend, I want […]

“Thank you for your message; however, I’m not going to read it.”
This out-of-office e-mail landed in my inbox a few days ago. I don’t know “Bob” personally; he’s a member of a Yahoo! group I follow. (To preserve privacy, I have changed all identifying info in the e-mail.) I think Bob’s e-mail is one of a kind, and I’ve been following the out-of-office genre for a […]

Famous Inboxes: Who knew Michelangelo, Napoleon, and Satan wrote e-mail?
Apparently, the very talented, the very commanding, and the very bad are just like you and me. They have inboxes crowded with e-mails waiting to be answered. Check out   Mark Brownlow’s Famous Inboxes blog and peer into inboxes that never were but should have been. In Michelangelo’s inbox: From Sistine Maintenance: “Pls tell apprentices to […]

Princeton Review: Don’t send me a huffy e-mail when I unsubscribe 
So, it’s like that, Princeton Review. You loved me when I subscribed to receive your weekly School Research Service e-mails, but now that my daughter’s been accepted to college and I’ve unsubscribed, you can’t even be polite. Here’s the let’s-destroy-our-business-relationship e-mail I received from Princeton Review when I unsubscribed: From: Unsubscribe To: LESLIE O’FLAHAVAN Subject: […]


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