Tips to Cut Down on Your Emails

Gina Deveney
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For accounting professionals, it's often necessary to send a number of emails, particularly when it comes to payroll or financial policies. When the content becomes too complex and emails arrive too often, colleagues may stop paying attention. Learning to write shorter emails with less frequency can help you communicate effectively and elicit prompt responses.

Be Concise

Brevity is the most important thing you can do to cut down on your email. If a person has three free minutes, he may be inclined to skip past a long email and take action on a short message instead. Shorter emails are more likely to get a response on the first try, which reduces the need for follow-up messages and repeated requests.

They also reduce the risk of misinterpretation, which is crucial for sensitive financial topics. Whenever possible, eliminate unnecessary words from your emails, and get straight to the point. Use simple, clear language, particularly when you are explaining important fiscal policies, payroll changes or tax information. Writing shorter emails is more difficult than it sounds; it requires you to eliminate pleasantries and get over the fear of being blunt.

Make One Request

Accounting professionals often require information from employees and clients for paperwork, filing and tax purposes. Too many questions or requests in one message can overwhelm the recipient and sabotage productivity. Boost your chances of getting a response by making a single request per email. Be as specific as possible, leaving no room for confusion or error. This strategy leads to shorter emails and reduces wasted time for everyone involved. It also helps recipients who use their inbox as a to-do list; when the request is answered, the message can be filed.

Use Information Design Principles

Shorter emails are not always a possibility for accountants. When you can't cut down the text, keep in mind that recipients may have a hard time reading dense paragraphs about complex financial topics. Instead of writing emails in standard block form, use information design principles to make your messages easier to read. Break long messages up with subheadings. Avoid long lists, which are difficult to follow in sentence form. Use bullet points to break up the paragraph structure and highlight key points. These design elements make the email easier to scan, so readers can identify important sections in seconds, and with minimal effort.

Most importantly, place your key information at the top of the page. That way, if a recipient only reads the first paragraph or two, he will still absorb the crucial details.

Shorter emails benefit everyone involved. They take less time to write and less time to act on — a crucial consideration in a busy professional environment. Once you have established a system of brief, effective emailing, you can streamline the communication process in the company.

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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Steven P thanks for your comment. We will certainly take note of your suggestion. In the meantime, check your alerts to make sure that you don't have any duplicates. You can view your alerts on your account by clicking on the down arrow next to the Add Photo holder at the upper right and then click on Manage Alerts & Emails. You can choose which emails you receive also. Hope that helps to cut down on your email traffic.

  • Steven Preston
    Steven Preston

    I wish Nexxt would take note of this article. For a few simple searches they send me 6 or 7 emails every day. Most of the search results are the same as seen in the past couple of days. Other job searches only send results weekly. Much less duplication and wasted time.

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