We all know effective communication is important, but it can be easy to lose sight of that on a day-to-day basis. No matter what line of business you’re in, providing clear, concise messaging to the state, providers, caregivers, and clients will affect your bottom line—and your quality of care.
You have probably received emails in which you wished the sender would have just gotten to the point. Instead, the message was verbose, mashed together multiple topics, and lacked visual cues. Understandably, it was overwhelming. You may have closed it, intending to return to it later, while you moved on to more succinct emails, and eventually forgot about it. That was a lost opportunity for the sender to communicate, so in short, a shorter email would have been more successful at getting to the point.
To be clear, short emails are not a perfect solution for all corporate communications. Sometimes, longer emails work. It depends on your audience, message, frequency, and goal, and all of those must be considered. However, when you are sending multiple emails within a narrow time frame to the same audience, writing concisely has several benefits that can compel recipients to read them, remember them, and respond to them.
Recipients can tell from the moment they first open an email whether or not they will spend the time needed to read it. Wordy correspondence may tempt them to quickly glance over it. That’s when short sentences and paragraphs complemented by visual cues can entice someone to read it from beginning to end. Those practices encourage readership and discourage scanning. They’ll respect your attention to the anti-scanning techniques that make it reader-friendly, and in return, perhaps give you the response you were hoping for.
Time is in short supply for many people, and a significant amount of it is spent reading emails. That’s why, in the business world, emails should be written without filler or fluff. Concise emails help readers get to the main point quickly. Directing them to where you want them to be with well-crafted and carefully selected wording helps them get what they need quicky and get out with the essential information you want them to leave with. They’ll appreciate the thought and effort that you put into making it a time-saving experience for them.
Conciseness can enhance comprehension. Research shows information is more easily absorbed and recalled in small chunks than the alternative. That could be especially true for businesspeople conditioned to receiving information in the form of lists, charts, and summaries. Reducing a large block of information into a digestible list, for example, improves the email’s readability and the recipients’ recall. They’ll understand your message better when it’s presented in a way they will readily grasp.
Being concise forces email writers to stay on topic, ultimately leading to a motivated reader. Straying from your main topic could muddle the message and confuse readers. When that happens, your audience could exit without taking the next step. But remaining focused and providing only the pertinent information will potentially prompt readers to respond to the call-to-action. They’ll reward your motivational conciseness by reading the email through and moving on to the next step.
Writing concise emails for brevity’s sake is not the objective. The objective of concise writing is effective communication that generates results. Being mindful of your prose and getting to the point can help you achieve those results.