Yesterday, I sent a quick email to let people know what time I was arriving on site. It was something simple like: "Brad will be there at 9:30AM. Thanks! EOM". Within seconds a reply came back "What does EOM mean?" In my smartypants way I responded: "End of message. Used it to save you the time of opening the message and having to reply, which by virtue of you replying has defeated its purpose. Now that I am replying to your reply, it's defeated doubly so." Ultimately, my response was even worse because they thought it was so funny, they forwarded it to half the office. But once your co-workers understand what EOM means, it can save you tons of time and unnecessary email back and forth.
To me, EOM means much more than End of Message. It means "good use of time." It means "concise." It means "clarity." But GUOTCC doesn't have the same ring as EOM, so let's stick with it. Here are eight great reasons for you to adopt EOM while crafting your email messages.
1. EOM saves your recipient's time.—Don't you value your time? Isn't it nice when others value your time too? By keeping your subject line short and using EOM you are showing the people you send to you value their time. They'll thank you for it (when they know what it means).
2. It saves you time. Why write the body of a message if you don't have to? Is it really that important for quick answers?
Here's the old way:
The EOM way:
3. You craft better subject lines.—One of the reasons people might glaze over when they receive your email is a subject line that doesn't grab them or give enough information. With EOM, you have no choice but to create a powerful subject line. The space for subjects is limited. You create better subject lines because you can't write a whole paragraph.
4. You can easily paste EOM subject lines.—You can cut and paste a well-crafted subject line into calendars, task lists, and notes. Have you ever gotten a request for a meeting that had nothing in the subject? What an annoyance. In order to create an appointment, you have to go into your calendar, type a meeting subject and set the schedule. Nobody would have this problem with an EOM message.
Example: "Let's meet in Conf. Room 223 RE: the Orange account at 3pm 8/21/08 EOM"
You can drag and drop that email right into your calendar as-is. You know the topic of the meeting, the time, the place, the date and the subject. You've saved yourself and everyone else time fumbling with the request.
5. EOM encourages others to EOM.—Once people see the resulting effectiveness of EOM, they will begin crafting EOMs of their own. It's win-win. You get concise, non-time wasting emails and they get the same.
6. EOM facilitates one-on-one discussion.—Have you ever gotten an email that, if it were printed would be five pages long or more? Of course you have. These emails are annoying, because it would have been more efficient if you had met for 10 minutes.
When you begin to utilise the EOM philosophy, you become keenly aware of when an email should really be a discussion. You can use the formula below to determine:
- Can you fit it into a subject line? No?
- Then can it fit into one paragraph? No?
- Then can it fit into two paragraphs? No?
- If it cannot, then a phone call or meeting is likely more efficient.
7. EOM forces you to keep email messages focused on a single topic.—Good email etiquette says you should keep the number of topics in an individual email to only one. If you have only one subject line to work with, you cannot cover more than one topic.
8. EOM guarantees 100% readership—We've all had the frustrating experience of waiting waiting on someone to read our important email and respond. Sometimes we wait a long time and follow up to find out they haven't even read the message at all. Perhaps the most powerful advantage of EOM is 100% readership. Why? Because your entire message is in the subject line. Your message becomes impossible to ignore because it comes in front and center—no need to double click.
Do you use EOM in your email subject lines often? Post up your tips for efficient email usage in the comments.