- Is it in black type in a normal size on a white background?
- Is there punctuation in this email?
- Is your contact information at the bottom?
- Who am I sending this to? Do they want it?
- Am I angry? (if so, save as a draft and come back in an hour)
- Would this work better as a phone call? *
- Is there anything in this email I don’t want to see on the news or on social media?
- Could this email be more concise?
- Are there any attached files that could be sent as PDF? *
- Is this email only going to people who need to read it?
- Am I forwarding someone else’s message without their knowledge?
- Am I forwarding something that I read in its entirety and is relevant to the recipients?
- Is this work-related?
- Did I hit ‘reply all’ on purpose?
- Is anyone blind-copied? Why? How would they feel if they found out?
- Do I know the difference between there,
their, and they’re?
- Is the subject line a good indication of what is contained in the email?
- Did I include a read-receipt or label it as ‘high importance’? If so, why?
- Am I taking advantage of the asymmetrical nature of email–free to send, expensive investment of time to read or delete? *
- Am I proud of this email as a representation of my professional self?
- If this email wasn’t free to send, would you send it?
This list is based on a blog post from over 10 years ago by the incomparable Seth Godin on his AMAZING site. I’ve adapted and updated it based on my experiences.
* A few of these were just copied right from Seth’s list. Items with an asterisk are stolen goods. *