Emails should be like a good first date. Keep it short and sweet with enough information to entice. If you play your cards right, you might land a second date—or a response. In a fast paced world, we forget the social graces of wooing a date/reader and settle into the bad habit of overly verbose dialogue (the first date equivalent of revealing too much too soon). The problem exists when that same fast paced environment creates readers who don’t have the time to read overly verbose emails. It’s a mind-bending cycle with one conclusion. Shorter is better.

In a culture where people don’t have the time to read your email, you need to take the time to be more concise. If you’ve ever received an email where you finally get to the purpose after three pages of verbal vomit, you know how frustrating that can be. Now imagine you’re the person who took the time to write said email only to have someone delete it without reading. Double frustrating.

If there’s one universal rule on life that you should learn, it’s this: Chances of your emails being deleted increase exponentially with length. This means that the opposite is true. If you want to get your proposal read or your resume accepted or your book reviewed, you need to write a shorter email. Of course it should be well written and engaging as well, but the key here is length. A short email is read email, and that’s 90% of the struggle.

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