Action Oriented Messages

Why do we email?

In order to improve email, one of the most used methods of communication today, we must think about the problem at is very core .  Why do we even email in the first place? What’s it’s purpose?

Effective communication is centered around inspiring others to do desired a action. These actions could be something as small as  giving an acknowledgment or answering a question but there is infinitely more complicated actions that we could desire of the people we communicate with. In a business setting, these things could include Pay an invoice, review promotional material, or consider me for future business.

If our goal is to make email better, then fundamentally we must make emails more actionable. To do this, we must improve the ease with which others can take actions from within email. The easier a desired action is, the more likely the person is going to do it.  The way we do this is by opening up email to a larger set of programming languages so that we create streamlined processes for our contacts to take action. For example, if we want people to pay an invoice, we should have a place for them to input their credit card information and submit the payment right in the email. If you want somebody to watch a video that will inspire further action, the reader should be able to view that video from within the email.

I’m a web developer and I believe that  with the help of WYSIWYG editors, creating such a message would be easy enough for people to do with little or no training. How many people do you know that have built a blog without a knowledge of code? The same concept applies.