Be Impeccable with Your Emails

“Be Impeccable with Your Word”—one of the four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz in his book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Here’s a twist on this agreement.

In business, being impeccable with your “word” sent through email counts for a lot. After all, you want more than replies; you want results.

To give you a greater chance of receiving what you need from each email you send, apply these five tips for composing messages impeccably.

  1. Write an effective subject line that concisely describes what the email is about. Include specifics telling recipients what to do (e.g., Attend meeting 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feedback on report by 4 p.m. Friday, etc.).
  2. Make the first statement of your email compelling—a callback, a question, a startling statistic (while skipping chats about the weather). With a strong opening, you have a greater chance the whole message will get read.
  3. In the body of the message, address recipients by name. Point out which issues pertain to them and what questions you want them to answer. Add a deadline if it’s appropriate.
  4. Because people usually scan content and don’t read word for word, use bullet points to make scanning easy and keep your text concise.
  5. Format your emails for ease of reading: short sentences, short paragraphs, spaces between paragraphs. If your message looks tedious to read on screen, it will get put aside.

In the spirit of being impeccable with your words, try these ideas and reap the results you desire. Share your tips for being impeccable with your word here.

Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Details at



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