How to Cut Back on Email Wordiness

Do you struggle with writing emails? How many times have you sent (or received) an email that reads more like a dissertation than a simple correspondence? You’re not alone! But to be an effective email communicator, you need to be able to get your point across as clearly and concisely as possible. Here are a few ways to change up your email game.

Drop the Fillers

Filler words are everywhere! While they may help you keep your thoughts moving, they don’t belong in professional emails. So trim the fat and cut out filler words such as “just,” “actually,” “I think,” and any transition words or phrases that feel unnecessary.

Eliminate Wordiness

Many people think they are somehow more eloquent in their email correspondences when they use flourishing sentences and descriptive words. But emails are not intended to be award-winning novels. Drop any words that don’t add to the meaning of a sentence.

Use An Active Voice

A Passive voice is one of the biggest culprits of unnecessary wordiness. The subject of your sentence should always be doing the action rather than receiving it. Scan your content for verbs that come after “is,” “was,” “have,” and “had,” and reword those sentences in an active voice. This will save you unnecessary words you didn’t even realize you were using.

Use Bullet Points

Sometimes, the best way to make emails more precise is to use bullet points instead of a paragraph form. Organizing your email into bullet points automatically cuts back on wordiness while making it much easier for your recipient to understand what you’re trying to say.

Eliminate all Repetition

Repetition is a big culprit in long emails. Limit yourself to one iteration per statement. If you’ve already said something, there is no need to repeat it. This is challenging, especially if you’re trying to make a point. In that case, simply bold or highlight the important statement to draw the readers’ eyes, rather than expressing it many times throughout the email itself.

Synthesize Your Statements

To begin, write out your email as you usually would. From there, you can edit down the content based on the above-mentioned tips and then synthesize similar content. For instance, if you have multiple statements that allude to the same point, combine them and cut out filler words. This step in the writing process should be all about clear, concise thoughts.

Rely on Others

If you’re still having trouble keeping your emails concise, have a co-worker read through your email to give you their objective take on what is and isn’t necessary to include. They may be able to point out the unnecessary words or phrases you don’t see.

Do you have any tips for cutting back on wordy emails? Share with us in the comments below!

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