Think Big, Write Personal: The Guide to Effective Email Communication

David Leshaw
2 min read
Graphic pen, notebook, sticker note, paper clip, and cup of coffee.

As an educator, you have a very diverse group of readers, specifically when your audience is comprised of parents. These readers come from different backgrounds and have their own preferences for how they view and absorb information. For example, some prefer to check emails on the phone and some on their home computers. This can definitely be a challenging especially if you have an important message to share.

Know your audience

Consider your audience and who you are writing for: What is their background? What language do they understand? How much time will they be spending reading your content? What are their expectations? Keep all of these questions in mind when your are writing and focus on creating a clear and appealing message for all types of readers.

Make it personal, almost

It’s hard to know every readers’ experience and what type of writing style they prefer. That doesn’t mean that you can’t make the messaging personal and share information and experiences about yourself. Telling stories about your classroom, reactions from students, and even giving your own thoughts are a great ways to connect to many readers.

Provide shortcuts

Imagine a busy parent reading your email at work, while doing chores or running errands. Most people read emails while on the go, which means it’s important to make your messaging clear and concise. This will allow for readers to skim information and understand what’s most important. It best to use titles to help readers find the sections that are most relevant to them. Next, utilize your subject line to clarify what this email is addressing. Also, your subtitle is a good place to provide context and highlight the importance of your message. Finally, use bold font to stress the key points of every paragraph.

Be clear

Your emails will be read by many people, some of which are busy or focused on other tasks, so make sure your message cannot be misinterpreted. Double negatives, confusing use of synonyms or any phrasing that requires extra concentration should be saved for an essay, and not speedy communication methods such as emails.

Have you had any email mishaps?

What are your tips for great universal emails?

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David Leshaw

When David isn't making pour-over coffee or running up mountains in search of an ultra-marathon PR, he oversees B2C marketing efforts for Smore, the world's most-loved newsletter software.

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