Who will read it? Who can read it? Who will they send it to?
Ensure that everyone who needs to know is included.
Recipients in the TO: line should represent those with a must know, action required level of involvement. Best to provide context in the subject as to what is expected.
Recipients in the CC: line should be those who “should be aware” only… no action required.
BEWARE: Recipients will notice who is not included. Omitting a stakeholder is equivalent to exclusion. It is offensive and will be noticed. If you make a mistake and do not include someone, there will be consequences. You will likely face them regardless of your intention.
Why are you sending this? Consider this carefully. Email is a one way “sermon” and not a conversation or dialogue. Even though recipients can respond, the asynchronous nature is volatile if ANY emotion is involved.
Email should never be more than a few sentences at best.
Communicate facts, and information… cleanly and succinctly.
Any email involving emotion should generally be saved and then discussed real time.. on telephone, live in person, or in video conference.
Email is a one way conversation associated generally with an expectation of reply.
Use attachments for ancillary information. notes, minutes, pictures, plans.
Always have an ask and clear action.
HOW and WHEN:
Be very careful when you send as to time and your expectations for reply. Do not assume that those are clear. Do not assume that they will remain clear.
Timing of reply is a natural social construct. Too short, too long.. all influence the nature of the messaging.
Scroll rule applies. If a reader has to scroll, they generally will not do it. Anything that is important must be in the top of message or it is likely to get ignored.
Your readers are overwhelmed with information. The onus is on you as the communicator to put the time and effort and respect into crafting a message.
Too many emails will be ignored. Too much in email will be ignored. This fault is on you not the reader.