This bit of online jargon stands for Too Long Didn’t Read.

You definitely don’t want that applied to your emails, business or otherwise. It could lead to lost sales or, in extreme cases, getting your business emails blocked outright.

As a business professional, your emails have to get your message across, be readable and not end up in someone’s junk mail folder. Make sure you have a professional email address – karatekid21@bigdude.blu isn’t going to come across as legitimate.

For starters, think about the reader on the other end. Maybe they’re reading it quickly before a meeting, maybe they’re reading it on their smartphone. These considerations have to be kept in mind.

You need a subject line that’s going to prompt them to click on your email and see what you have to say. Don’t write something you think is clever or witty, that’s way too subjective. You may think it’s hilarious while the recipient may find it insulting or just plain dumb.

The subject line sets the hook

Your subject line has to be akin to an elevator pitch. It has to hook the reader and want to get them to take action, in this case actually reading your email. Five to eight words is generally all that will fit into a small screen, like a smartphone.

Once you’ve enticed the reader to click on your email and read it, your work is really getting underway.

What is your message?

This advice from the Velsoft production team can’t be overstated:

“One mistake that businesses continue to make is that their e-mail marketing always repeats a similar “buy me” message instead of giving people reason to click a link within that e-mail that takes them to your hub site for more information, a map with directions, or even your product page and shopping cart. Give them a compelling reason to engage with you, and they will.”

They go on to say that your message has to be concise, just like all business writing. Think about someone on their smartphone. They are not going to scroll and scroll and scroll through a message. It’s much easier to delete it.

I knew a company CEO who said the first thing he did with an email once he opened it was to look at its length, too long and it was immediately deleted.

  • Don’t bury your message deep in the body of the email. Get to your topic, your point, right up front.
  • Keep away from needless or vague jargon.
  • Use strong verbs, write in the active voice.
  • Proofread. Read it aloud. Use spellcheck.

In the long run it’s best to remember that the purpose of a business email is to initiate or continue a conversation. Make sure you’re holding up your end of the bargain by writing a message that makes itself want to be read.