email tips

Email lesson from a PayPal co-founder

I found an interesting email productivity suggestion in “The Way I Work,” an Inc. article by Max Levchin of HVF, a co-founder of what became PayPal.

Email tip from Levchin: Keep it short and focused

If you want your email to win a response from Levchin, keep it short and focused, especially if you want a speedy reply.

“Emails that require immediate responses need to be about one topic only,” writes Levchin. He pushes his employees to keep all emails short, his article says, because he receives about 800 emails daily.

My email tip: Complement short email with short, action-oriented subject line

In my opinion, keeping the body of your email short isn’t enough. To boost your email’s effectiveness, I suggest that you also use a short subject line that starts with an action verb and includes a deadline, if appropriate. For example, “Please approve by Aug. 5.”

Interested in more email tips? I’ve presented on “Writing Effective Emails” to chapters of the Financial Planning Association and corporate clients. Contact me to learn about hiring me to present to your group. You can also search my blog’s archives for more email tips.