inCredible Messages Blog

Reasons Customers and Co-workers Dont Read Your Messages

Whether you communicate to external customers or co-workers, you face a challenge: getting people to read what you send. You cannot sell a service, get commitment for a proposal, or convince people to follow a new policy unless you can get them to read what you send. Here are three top reasons people toss or delete messages they receive:

  • The message focuses on the writer’s perspective. Busy people care about messages only in relation to how the messages matter to them—to their own goals, priorities, and schedules. Present things from the reader’s perspective—and in the order that makes sense for the reader.
  • The sender and purpose of the message aren’t clear. People sort
    e-mails and documents by priority. A focused subject line captures attention. Make the subject line reflect why this message is important from the reader’s perspective.

    It’s currently considered appropriate, and even desirable, to use a subject line in a formal business letter. It helps readers prioritize.

  • The reader can’t find the key information. Just like you, your readers are in a perpetual hurry. Group key elements (like contact information, dates, times, and costs) together, and make them visible at a glance. The lower the reader’s frustration over finding key information, the greater the chance he or she will read and respond well to your message.

Make sure the messages you send are reader-focused, that the purpose is clear, and that key information is visible at a glance. This increases the chances that your messages will get read, and you’ll get the results you want!

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Business Writing Techniques, Multipurpose Content.


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