How to write stunningly clear emails as a manager and leader

Here’s a hard truth.

People are ignoring your emails.

It’s nothing personal. It’s just that most emails are utterly energy-sapping.

And since the average worker gets 124 emails a day, if you want to grab your team’s attention, it’s time to rethink your approach.

One effective technique is to apply the Rule of One. Here’s how:


One Goal

Most emails cram in waaaay too many points. Pull your reader in too many directions, and you’ll lose them.

So before you start, write down one thing you want your recipient to do, or take away from your email. For example: ‘agree to serve gluten-free bagels at the next team lunch.’ Setting a clear goal will keep your message pin-sharp.


One Reader

When you talk to everyone, no one hears you.⁠ Instead of imagining a faceless crowd, focus on one person. Visualise them in ultra-high definition. Notice how your language and tone shift.

This will make your email feel more like a conversation, and less like a megaphone barking orders into the ether. Your reader will feel seen, and you’re more likely to get a reply.


One Outcome

What is it you want your reader to do next? What action should they take? Communicate this with blistering clarity and punchy language. There should be no ambiguity.

For example: ‘Click here to cast your vote’, or ‘Please reply by noon today’.

Lucid and simple emails are your key to getting more replies. Use the Rule of One to dash them off with ease.