Author’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles advocating that people and their organizations adopt the S.M.A.R.T. Email Credo. The Credo focuses on the sender’s role in the email overload problem. Better sender behavior reduces the time spent by and the stress on recipients when handling email. An explanation of the what and why of the Credo can be read at the beginning of Part 1 here.
What does the M stand for?
The M in S.M.A.R.T. stands for message formatting. Utilizing email effectively includes focusing on how to format messages that communicate efficiently.
Email exists in the wide space between hard-copy written communication and real-time verbal communication. Email is often conversational in structure, yet the recipient could be hours or days from responding. Leaving the dichotomy of immediate response expectations aside, emails also lack the non-verbal feedback received during real-time communication – tone and, if in person, body language. Recipient confusion is the result of poor email formatting and minimal surrounding clues due to this asynchronous communication environment.