Strength in Nature

3 Reasons to include Deadlines in Subject Lines

Recently, we talked about Email Etiquette. One topic I'd like to highlight more specifically is the advantage of using a deadline or timeline in the Subject Line. When we are writing and considering our positions as servant leaders, our objective should always be to seek clarity and connection.

Including the deadlines for the action you request in the email borrows from the marketing concept to

  • improve clarity,
  • drive action, and
  • increase time efficiency.


Servant leaders understand the pressure of time on their (our) readership. We talked about crafting emails using the Call to Action or Cover Your Asset layouts. In a Call to Action (CTA) email, we are asking the readers to accomplish a specific task. As business leaders, we need tasks to be accomplished by a set time. Help your readers by putting that deadline up front in the subject line.


The Rule of 7 in marketing was developed in the 1930s, while the principle is a very different in today's world, we can...

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Email Etiquette: Effective Emails for Leaders

Etiquette | 'et * i * ket

the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life (Merriam-Webster, 2021)

As leaders reaching out to our team members, it is both helpful and mindful of their needs to follow email etiquette. For those of you working in manufacturing (and increasingly other industries as well), you will be very familiar with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Etiquette is a bit like these SOPs, with a nice name. Following standards helps readers quickly identify the information they need, so they can gain and retain information efficiently. If your life is busy as a leader, the statement is also true for the people reading your emails. As a servant leader, try to help them by following etiquette. So let's dive in and take a look at email etiquette.

The Writing

Subject Line

As they sang in Sound of Music let's start at the very beginning. The subject line is important. We will devote an entire...

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TEACH method of writing

This week's blog post focusing on writing brings you the TEACH method of writing. I have borrowed this method from Kent Sanders over at the Daily Writer Podcast. If you are intent on learning how to write for a living, then go find the Daily Writer Podcast at your favorite podcast listening site. If you want to find the specific episode where Kent shares his TEACH method, take a look at the link in the reference section below. In the meantime, leaders continue reading here to learn how to apply the TEACH method to your emails.

I am sharing the TEACH method today on the heels of the Call to Action (CTA) blog post from last week, because Kent has done an excellent job helping you as an email writer elucidate the steps necessary to lead to a successful CTA. OK, so what exactly is the TEACH method? Below you can find an explanation of each letter:

T - Take their attention

E - Explain the main idea

A - Apply it to their situation

C - Counter their objections

H - Help them take action


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Call to Action: Emails that drive Action

writing tip wednesdays Jan 27, 2021

Why are you writing an email?

Earlier in this series, we talked about telling a story and two different types of email formats: the CTA (call to action) and the CYA (cover your assets). Today, let's dive more deeply into the Call to Action emails. The CTA emails exist to connect with your reader so that they take an immediate action.

In marketing literature, the copy is intended to drive you take a specific action, "Click Here!," "Let's get started," "Lose 10 lbs. Start today!" In each of these buttons, it is the clear which action the user should take. Unfortunately, work emails are seldom written so clearly.

As a servant leader, it is our duty to write with clarity and connection. To help our reader quickly come to the conclusion we want them to find, we must be precise in our writing. Precision, in this case, means stating the desired outcome explicitly.

 Hot tip: if you have a deadline, include it in your call to action.  

~Angela Buckley

In a CTA email,...

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Formatting for Effectiveness

writing tip wednesdays Jan 20, 2021

Written communications for leaders require clarity and connection. As the authors of written communications, we seek to deliver information to our team members quickly and accurately in a manner they can understand just as quickly and accurately. Using formatting is just one very quick and simple way to reduce the cognitive overload associated with reading a long email.

"A servant leader understands that clear writing saves time by reducing cognitive overload and questions in their readers' minds." Angela Buckley


Luckily, email communications are not governed by APA or MLA style guidelines so we can break a lot of the rules that you learned in school. (If you don't know what those are, but are curious...follow the links.) Emails are better understood when written following a more journalistic approach:

  • Short sentences
  • Short paragraphs
  • Vocabulary aimed at 4th to 6th grade reading level.

Listen, writing at this secondary level is not to criticize your readers or team...

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Tell A Story: Emails for Leaders

Today we are going to talk about telling a story. If you are writing an email, you most likely have a specific point in mind. Most business emails fall in to one of two categories: CYA or CTA. First we are going to examine the information and point of each of these types of emails and then we will follow up with the importance of storytelling.


Do I need to elaborate on its meaning? Covering your assets means that you are sharing information. Perhaps the information isn't interesting (to you). Perhaps you aren't sure how else to communicate the information. The CYA emails are highly informative, often filled with industrial jargon, and let's face it...dry.

 "Research shows that including statistics in the story format leads to increased retention by 25x."

However, writing a dry CYA email is selfish. By writing a dry email of this nature you burden your readers with the following responsibilities.

  • understanding,
  • reading through the lines, and
  • information filing.

In a busy...

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Writing Tip Wednesdays: Leadership Writing for Clarity and Connection

writing tip wednesdays Jan 06, 2021

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesdays! Thanks for joining me. I'm so glad you are here.

Have you been writing more emails than you ever dreamed of? Wondering if the message is getting across to your team? If you have little seeds of self-doubt or questioning when you hit send on those emails, then this blog series is aimed at you.  I intend to address your leadership writing questions, woes, and concerns.  

What will we discuss?

  • Leadership communications that seek connection with your audience.
  • Tips and tricks to clarify your message.
  • Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.

Who will benefit?

  • Leaders and emerging leaders who are suddenly finding themselves in a midst of emails, Zooms, and on-line interactions.
  • Team members who are reading your communications.
  • Friends and family, because these tips can apply to all your communications.

Why is this topic important?

  • Clarity & Connection drive action.
  • With facemasks, distance working, and increased challenges, writing is...
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