March 2018
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TD Magazine

3 Ways to Write Emails That Get Employees Hooked

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Less than one-third of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs, according to a Gallup study—costing about $7 trillion in lost productivity. Use these tips to craft emails that drive engagement.


Write compelling subject lines. Fire up employees with captivating subject lines. For example, instead of a dull subject line such as, "Program X launches next week," write a compelling one, such as "Program X—your chance to shine!"



Tap into readers' WIIFM (What's in it for me?) Address what employees care about, such as saving time. For example, don't write, "We've launched a series of customer service video tutorials to help build relationships with clients." Instead, say: "To reduce your time handling inquiries by 25 percent and help the company enhance client relationships, we've launched a series of customer service video tutorials."


Don't just say it—show it. Telling employees that something is so isn't enough. Demonstrate your point, such as that their feedback counts. For example, don't write, "Our division has transitioned to the Z3 budgeting software, so please begin using it. Your input is welcomed." Instead, say: "Our division has transitioned to the Z3 budgeting software, so please begin using it. Email us about any problems or suggestions with ‘Z3' in the subject line so we can modify as needed."

About the Author

Jack Appleman, APR, CBC, is a prominent writing instructor, coach, and author who is committed to helping individuals achieve better results with their writing. He is driven by the belief that everyone can significantly improve their text by following a series of straightforward steps. Jack’s workshops, webinars, and coaching sessions have helped thousands of working professionals become more confident and proficient writers.

As principal of the Monroe, New York–based Successful Business Writing, Jack brings more than 25 years’ experience as a corporate trainer, professor, and public relations professional. He is a frequent speaker and has published several articles on the importance of good writing. He’s also contributed to several articles in the Wall Street Journal. In 2015, Jack received the Charles T. Morgan Award for lifetime excellence in corporate training from the Association for Talent Development’s Northern New Jersey chapter.

A professor since 2001, Jack teaches technical writing at Southern New Hampshire University. He received the accreditation in public relations certification from the Public Relations Society of America and the Certified Business Communicator designation from the Business Marketing Association. Jack also has a BA in communication from Ohio State University and an MS in journalism from Ohio University. He is studying for a PhD in organizational communication at the State University of New York at Albany. He can be reached on Twitter @writecoachJack and by email: [email protected].

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