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9 Tips On How To Write Effective Project Management Emails

There is so much important information that needs to be shared with the team during a project. However, when countless emails are sent, information is easily lost in translation. As poor communication can be detrimental to your projects' success, you want to make sure that each project management email you write is as effective as possible.

9 Tips On How To Write Effective Project Management Emails

In order to stay on top of your game as a project manager, you must continuously improve your project management skills. Besides adopting specific management styles and verbal communication techniques, your written communication skills are just as important. A myriad of emails pass through your team while a project is running, all obviously containing information that is crucial to the projects’ success. However, long-winded and unstructured threads tend to do more bad than good. In order to avoid confusion, it’s important to make sure they are written as clearly as possible. We have come up with 9 tips on how to write effective project management emails.

Table of contents:

1. Use relevant subject titles
2. Address recipients accordingly
3. Get straight to the point
4. Keep it concise
5. Use bullet points
6. Call-to-action
7. Encouraging words
8. Professional email signature
9. Use collaboration software

#1 Use a relevant subject title

People seem to underestimate the importance of adding a short and relevant subject title to their emails. 

How many emails do you receive per day? For some people it’s a challenge to keep up with their emails, prioritizing the ones that need an immediate response.

If they know within one glance what an email is about without opening it, they will know how to prioritize it right away. 

Therefore, you should add a subject title that reflects exactly what it is regarding. Moreover, you should keep the title as short as possible, trying to use no more than 2-4 words.

Look at this example:

Subject title A: Meeting about finalizing social media project for Cozulli Shoes
Subject title B: Final meeting Cozulli Shoes

Option B is much shorter and therefore easier to find when team members look through their inbox, while the words convey the context perfectly. 

In some cases, you could add “URGENT” to the subject title to grab instant attention. Just make sure you do this sparingly, as people will otherwise not take it seriously anymore.

 

People seem to underestimate the importance of adding a short and relevant subject title to their emails. 

#2 Use different ways to address individual recipients

Give thought to which individuals you add when using the three different address lines of your emails. These lines are labeled “To:”, “Cc:”, and “Bcc:” from top to bottom.

In the first address line labeled “To:”, you should only add the person(s) that you really need a response from, or who needs to take action. Even if this includes several people, try to keep it to a minimum. 

You are better off choosing one responsible person, and adding the rest of them in the “Cc:” or mentioning them in the text by using an “@” in front of their name or writing them in caps.

If you really require important action from all of the recipients, it would be far more effective to write separate emails.

Then, add in the “Cc:” everyone else who you want to keep informed but be mindful of how often you do this. Is the information truly relevant to them? If not, these people will come to view your emails as spam. No bueno!

In the “Bcc:” line (blind carbon copy) you can add people in without their details being visible to anyone else. Some do this to show their boss or other stakeholders what’s going on without the other recipients’ knowledge. However, this is not very transparent. We highly recommend transparent communication in order to instill accountability in your team.

#3 Get straight to the point

Don’t beat around the bush or address less urgent matters first in an email that contains important points of action. Time is of the essence when there is work to do. 

Team members should get the most important information they need from an email by just opening it and reading the first lines. Therefore, make sure the combination of the headline (subject title) and the first sentence of the email already give all the context they need. 

The required action or question you need answered should be included in this first sentence too. All the other details can be added afterward in the middle of the text.

#4 Keep it concise

Less is more. You might think it’s effective to give people as much information as possible so they will know exactly what to do. The opposite is true, however. 

Nobody has time to read long-winded progress updates about tasks when they have stuff to do. Plus, a lot of information gets lost in translation if they need to scan a lengthy essay in order to find action points.

Keep your emails as short as possible, in the simplest language possible. 

Keep your emails as short as possible, in the simplest language possible. 

#5 Use bullet points

We can’t emphasize enough that your emails should be as short as possible. 

Even if you simply must include a lot of information, like complex and elaborate instructions, try to find ways to keep it concise. Use bullet points for example, or attach a step-by-step guide or a how-to video on Youtube.

#6 Use clear CTA’s

Just explaining what the next steps of the project are is not enough. You really need the responsible person to feel highly motivated to pick them up.

Use a very clear CTA (call to action) when addressing the responsible person in your email. Don’t just allude to a problem or insinuate that they pick it up, as not everybody will feel inclined enough to take action. 

Look at this example:

Option A: Elisabeth, I feel like it’s been a while since we heard back from client X, maybe they are not interested in doing business with us anymore? We should find out.

Option B: Elisabeth, could you please call client X today to close the deal.

Besides that option A is unnecessarily long, it’s not clear enough that Elisabeth is being made responsible for finding out about this client. Option B is short but tells Elisabeth exactly what to do and when.

Once again, limit the amount of CTA’s in one email. Sometimes it would be more effective to send multiple emails.

#7 Use positive and encouraging words

After getting straight to the point in the first sentences, remember while writing the body of the email that you are dealing with people.

Being short and concise in your messaging might make you seem cold and unkind if you don’t add some positive and encouraging words in the middle or towards the end.

Making hard-working employees feel treated like machines is counter-effective.

Take a look at this example:
Dear Elisabeth,

Could you please call client X today, to close the deal?

Best,
Peter

Just a few positive words of encouragement can make a huge difference while remaining short and concise.

Take a look at this example:
Dear Elisabeth,

Could you please call client X today, to close the deal?

Keep up the great work!

Best,
Peter

Just a few positive words of encouragement can make a huge difference while remaining short and concise.

#8 Include a professional email signature

Adding an automated signature at the bottom of your emails will ensure recipients will have all your correct contact information. 

Sometimes when a team member has questions about an email, it’s easier to pick up the phone and call if they have your phone number in the signature.

Besides this, having a neat-looking email signature also makes you look more professional. For some employees, this doesn’t matter that much. For managerial roles though, this makes a big difference as it clearly communicates your function and position.

Include your company logo, job title, and contact information to make your email signature look professional and sleek. 

Check out the example below:

Include your company logo, job title, and contact information to make your email signature look professional and sleek. 

#9 Use PM software for most of the communication

Now you can consider yourself updated on how to write project management emails as effectively as possible. Emails play an imperative role in project management communication. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to keep the number of emails you send to a minimum. 

Overloading people with emails for every little update will lead them to consider your messages unimportant. That’s certainly not the desired outcome when you’re trying to provide valuable guidance and instructions.

You can make most of your emails redundant by introducing collaboration software. Some of the most intuitive project management tools like Rodeo, allow you to assign tasks to employees and create a schedule that speaks for itself. 

But that’s not all, Rodeo is an all-in-one tool that supports all your other business processes too. Would you like to find out more? Speak to one of our experts who can provide a tailor-made demonstration for how Rodeo can optimize your organization.

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