One Easy Tip for Much Better Emails

Managing an Inside Sales Team, I spend a lot of time helping my team perfect emails.  Today, I want to share a tip I often encourage my team, peers and (even) my bosses to adopt: avoid using passive voice.

In my high school’s junior year English class, we got an assignment to write a 15 page paper.  The teacher allowed us to use passive voice three times– in the entire paper.  I also grew up with a lawyer for a father.  In every assignment he edited, my papers got shorter and passive voice disappeared.  Now, passive voice bothers me.  I re-read most, and all important, emails to delete out any passive voice.

I find avoiding passive voice helps you:

  • Clearly state who needs to do what and why
  • Shorten your emails (and we all know how much people read if an email is tl;dr )
  • Sound more professional and polished

I challenge you to take out the following (most common) passive voice words from your email for an entire day (for over-achievers, a week).  Let me know if it helps.

Just seven words to eliminate from your emails:

  • is
  • was
  • has
  • have
  • were
  • be
  • am

Here are a few resources to help:


One Easy Tip for Much Better Emails

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