Intern’s Quick Tips for Acing Emails

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Sending emails was pretty much reserved for a) inviting people for 100 Cups of Coffee interviews b) asking my professors about assignments. It just wasn’t a big thing in my life. Can you relate?

Fast forward to the end of my internship – four months – and I’ve sent more emails than I have in my entire life. Since we organized events where I worked, I sometimes spent days inviting people to come out, to partner with us, etc. Entire. Days. And I’ve picked up a few interesting tricks.

build on existing threads

Threads remind me of sleazy FWD: FWD: FWD: LOOK AT THIS CUTE PUPPY emails my friends and I passed around when we were twelve. They’re not the prettiest thing to look at, but they serve a purpose.

Haven’t emailed the person in a while? Save your recipient the hassle of searching through their inbox for previous correspondences with you. The quicker the context of your last conversation is recalled, the better. And don’t be afraid to stray from the thread’s subject header, either. You can alter a subject header if needed without losing a thread’s data.

avoid Special Characters in Subject lines (:/-;)

Some peoples’ spam filters are hella strong. I’ve had a handful of important, non-spam messages bounce because someone’s filter is too aggressive, and fixed the issue by removing a colon in a subject.

Trim the fat

It helps to remember some people get hundreds of emails a day (hi Lana!). Can a person’s time/energy/attention be better spent than on my well-meaning greeting? Probably. No more eating up someone’s time to prove I’m polite.

Now it’s your turn to share. Spill – what are your email tips and tricks?

P.S. Read this if you want a good reason to follow up on emails.

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