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Write Great Emails – Effective communication skills at work

Improve your workplace communication skills, get better replies, and be understood
Chris Fenning
5,683 students enrolled
Structure an email that is easy to read
Get to the point quickly and clearly
Get the attention of the recipient
Improve the chances that all questions in an email are answered
Reduce the length of emails and improve the likelihood someone will read the whole message
Know how to apply best practices when forwarding emails
Avoid the common issues caused by group email conversations
Re-focus a group email that's become confusing
Avoid the problems caused by the CC feature
Know how and when to use the Bcc feature

Learn the simple yet effective email methods Chris Fenning has taught to people all around the world at universities and places like Google and NATO!

Content and Overview

Increase the chance people will read and respond to your emails at work (NOT Marketing or sales emails). Learn how to introduce and structure emails to make them easy to read. Plus discover the rules for handling group, and chain emails.

This course is designed for anyone who regularly communicates using emails at work. It contains 25 video lessons, activities, and assessments to help you master this critical form of communication.

  • Make your emails stand out in your recipients inboxes.

  • Help your recipients easily read and reply to your questions.

  • Be the person who keeps group emails focused and organised.

How to use this course ?

I suggest you work through the material in order, but the sequence isn’t locked. You can pick and choose the topics that are most valuable for you right now.

At the end of each section you’ll find activities and assessments to help you practice the techniques and evaluate your progress.

The content of this course is relevant to any job in any industry. It doesn’t matter what work you do, these email techniques will help you be clearer and more concise when you communicate.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to write short, clear emails that people can easily read and understand. You’ll know how to avoid the common problems with long emails, plus you’ll have the best way to keep group email chains on track.

Plus, you’ll save time and increase your productivity at work.

Ready to sign up?

Click on the “Buy Now” or “Enroll Now” button at the top of this page and start learning how to sharpen your email writing skills, excel at business writing, and improve communication with your team.

Subject line & Introduction

Course Introduction

Welcome to Write Great Emails - Effective communication skills at work. In this short video you'll get an overview of how the course is structured, the topics you'll learn about, and the outcomes you will get from the course.

You don't need to watch this video but it's only two minutes long and will help you understand what's coming up in the rest of the course.

Section 1: Introduction

Watch this video to get a brief overview of the Section 1 content before you dive into the detail.

What to write in the subject line

The subject line is the first part of your email that people see. Learn why it is important, and how to create a subject line that grabs attention and provides essential information to the reader.

The first line of the email

Most people read the first few lines of an email and then skim the rest of the message. If you want the recipient to read your message without missing important information you need to get the opening liens right. Find out how to create clear and concise introductions and increase the chances your email will be read.

Replies vs the first email

A short video explaining why the introduction in the first message is different to the introduction in a reply.

Introducing multiple topics in one email

The more topics you include in an email the greater the chance of confusion. A good introduction reduces the chance of confusion and helps the recipient see there is more than one topic for them to read.

Assessment - How do you start your emails?

Find out how well you start your emails with this simple assessment. The results will show you if and where you can improve your email subject line and introductions.

Activity: Prepare your next email introductions

Download the activity sheet and practice applying what you have learned. This activity has the added benefit that you can use the work you do in this activity in your next emails. This means it isn't just practicing the theory, you are using real examples from your work. 

Layout & Formatting

Section 2 Introduction

Watch this video to get a brief overview of the Section 2 content before you dive into the detail.

Short emails are better emails

Short emails are read and responded to and you don’t have to take my word for it. There’s research to support this! Find out why short emails are better and learn some simple tips to keep your own emails short.

White space, Bullets, and Formatting

The examples in this video will show you how effective a little formatting can be. You’ll see how to make your emails easier to read and how this improves the chances of the recipient seeing the important information.

Clearly identify questions, actions, and decisions

Questions, Actions, and Decisions need special treatment in emails. A few small changes to how you write them in your emails makes a BIG difference in getting people to see, read, and react to them.

Extra tips for writing questions in emails

Watch this video to get a few extra tips to master the finer points of handling questions in emails.

Structure for long emails

See how the techniques in this section apply to long emails. Even though the goal is to have short emails, sometimes we need to write a lot. When you do, it helps to use an effective structure.

Templates for recurring emails

Save time and effort by creating templates for your recurring emails. Whether it’s a weekly team update, or a regular message to your client, you’ll find it easier when you have a good template.

Assessment - How do you structure your emails?

Complete this self assessment to see how well you structure your emails. Are there things you do well? What can you do better? Discover if there are specific actions you can take to make your emails easier to read.

Group emails, email chains, and forwarding


Watch this video to get a brief overview of the Section 3 content before you dive into the detail.

Introducing group emails

Introducing group emails needs even more care than emails we send to one person. If a group email is well introduced it reduces the number of questions from the group and sets up a more productive email chain.

The problem with CC'ing

Did you know that people treat the CC field differently? You never know how other people will respond to a message they are Cc’d on. This video explains how to avoid CC confusion and the rules you can follow to avoid issues when copying people in an email.

BCC is not a spy feature

There is one purpose for adding people to the Bcc field in an email. And that reason is not so they can spy on the conversation. Bcc is about protecting the recipients data and privacy. Find out why this is important in this video.

Forwarding email chains

No one likes getting a chain with 20 emails and no introduction. What are we meant to do? Do we read the whole thing or just ignore it? You never want your recipients to ask themselves this question. Forwarding email chains can be a simple and effective way to deliver information if it’s done right. Watch this video to find out some of the best practices for forwarding email chains.

Adding & removing people from email chains

You wouldn’t push someone out of a group conversation at a party without explaining why. And you shouldn’t do this in group emails either. Learn the surprisingly simple rules to maintain polite and effective communication when adding and removing people in group email chains.

Keeping an email chain focused

Multiple replies to the same email, people replying out of sequence, and topics changing mid chain. All these common issues can be fixed with a single reply. Learn how to reset and refocus an email chain that’s lost it’s focus.

Changing topics in an email chain

Did the email chain change topics deliberately or unintentionally? Each case requires a different response. Learn how to avoid the problems caused by changing topics mid-chain, and what to do if a topic change does happen.

When the conversation moves beyond email

Email is just one channel of communication. Group email topics often move beyond email. When this happens you need to make sure everyone is aware of what happened and no one is left out of the discussion.

Best practices from group and chain emails

The questions in this test will show how many of the tips and methods you can recall from the training. Each question is multiple choice and the answers are available at the end.

Course summary & next steps

Course summary

You've learned a lot in this course. So what do you do now? Watch this short video to find out how you can get the most value from what you've learned.

Make sure you hit a 100% completion rate by completing this lesson and leaving a rating afterwards.

If you have any questions after you go, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. I read and reply to all the message I get sent.

You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
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