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From Inbox Zero to Inbox Hero: Transform Your Emails with Humour and Heart.

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Are your emails as dull as ditch water? Can you envision your audience clicking off of every message you send? Here are some tips and techniques that will turn dull email into dulcet communication.

Ah, the humble email. It’s the digital lifeline that connects us in the fast-paced world of business yet mastering its intricacies can often feel like threading a needle in a hurricane. We’ve all been there – juggling deadlines, scheduling meetings, and wading through an endless sea of emails that threaten to engulf us.

But fear not, weary inbox warrior, for I bring tidings of great joy: within the confines of your inbox lies the potential to revolutionise your communication game. Yes, you heard me right. With the right blend of wit, charm, and a dash of personality, you can transform your mundane emails into unforgettable masterpieces that leave your recipients eagerly anticipating your next correspondence.

Consider the psychological impact of receiving a poorly worded email. As noted in Forbes’ article on “The Importance of Being Concise,” our attention spans are dwindling, and our inboxes are overflowing. When faced with a verbose, convoluted message, recipients may experience frustration, confusion, or even annoyance. It’s as if they’re wading through a dense fog of words, desperately searching for clarity amidst the chaos. This can lead to decreased engagement with the content, as well as a negative perception of the sender’s professionalism and competence.


“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” – Mark Twain.

This humorous advice reminds us of the importance of precision in language, particularly in the realm of concise communication.

In the realm of email communication, brevity is not just a stylistic choice; it’s a psychological necessity. As psychologist William James once said, “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” By focusing on the essential details and eliminating unnecessary clutter from your emails, you can create a more pleasant and effective communication experience for both yourself and your recipients.

Now, before we delve into the delightful world of injecting humour into your emails, let’s address an important caveat: timing is everything. While humour can be a powerful tool for building rapport and fostering a connection with your recipients, it’s crucial to ensure that you’ve established enough rapport before unleashing your comedic genius.

Consider the cautionary tale of a sales executive who learned this lesson the hard way. Eager to impress a potential client, the executive decided to infuse his email pitch with what he thought was a clever joke. Unfortunately, the recipient didn’t share his sense of humour and misinterpreted the joke as unprofessional. Needless to say, the deal fell through, and the executive learned a valuable lesson about the importance of gauging your audience before cracking a joke.

Humour has the power to break down barriers and foster camaraderie, but it must be wielded with care. So, before you hit send on that email with the witty punchline, take a moment to consider whether the recipient will appreciate your humour or if it might inadvertently rub them the wrong way.

Remember, effective communication is about finding the right balance between professionalism and personality. So, while humour can be a fantastic addition to your emails, always ensure that you’ve built enough rapport with the recipient to avoid any potential misinterpretations or misunderstandings.

Starting your email with a friendly opening phrase sets a positive tone and fosters a sense of warmth and connection. Whether you choose to begin with ‘I hope this email finds you well,’ ‘Hope you’re having a great day,’ or ‘Good morning/afternoon,’ a simple greeting can go a long way in establishing rapport with your recipient. However, it’s not just about brevity and clarity; tone matters too.

As Maya Angelou once said,

‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

When crafting your message, ensure that your tone is friendly and warm to avoid coming across as rude. Remember, effective communication is not just about conveying information; it’s about building relationships and fostering goodwill.

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? No one likes receiving an email that reads like it was written by a robot with a bad attitude. You know the ones – dry, impersonal, and about as tedious as watching grass grow. So why not inject a little personality into your emails? Add a friendly greeting, a touch of humour, or even a quirky sign-off to give your emails that personal touch. After all, as Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” So, go ahead, let your personality shine through in your emails, and watch as your recipients respond with delight.

Next up, let’s talk about the perils of email overload. We’ve all been there – drowning in a sea of unread messages, desperately trying to keep our heads above water. But fear not, for there is a simple solution: the art of brevity. Instead of rambling on for paragraphs on end, why not get straight to the point? Keep your emails short, sweet, and to the point, and your recipients will thank you for it.

Write without fear. Edit without mercy.

But perhaps the most important rule of email etiquette is to always, and I mean always, proofread your emails before hitting send. There’s nothing quite as cringeworthy as spotting a glaring typo or grammatical error in an email after it’s already been sent. So, take a moment to double-check you’re spellong granmar, and, punktuation (😉) before unleashing your masterpiece upon the world. Your reputation – and your sanity – will thank you for it.



Follow these rules and you’ll always send an email that satisfies with salutations and puts smiles on your colleagues, clients, and friends’ faces.

See you next Tuesday.


Paul x

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