Want people to read your emails? And not just read them, but pour over them with a fine tooth-comb, analysing for meaning, reading and re-reading every sentence, weighting every word? In a corporate setting there is only one way I know to achieve this – email recalls!
Recalled emails are a quaint notion, something akin to being able to recall a bullet after it has been fired from a gun. Usually the only people who recall emails are those who don’t understand how email works and have inadvertently sent something really stupid and/or personally damaging to a list of people they may not have intended to send that item to. For this reason a recalled email is like a deliciously prepared home cooked meal to your average boring office-worker who subsides on gruel and stale bread every day. And like the meal of a master-chef the recalled email must be savoured, digested, rolled around on one’s palette until every last ounce of flavour has been extracted, every morsel of embarrassment for the sender has been deliciously experienced, and every taste of treachery or whiff of organizational scandal has been appreciated. Normally recalled emails are only sent by accident…normally, but if you actually want people to read your emails sending them and then recalling them can be a really good technique. Recalled emails are the ‘turning it up to 11’ of email communication.
Just remember - like all attention grabbing techniques this one should be used sparingly, to avoid people becoming de-sensitized to it. Also, clever operators may want to deny they read the email at all, and can justifiably do so by claiming to be good corporate citizens and honouring the email recall (there is a saying that patriotism and following corporate policy are the last refuge of scoundrels). In order to remove this avenue of denial from them re-send the recalled email about 4-6 hours after the ‘recall’, with a minor typographical or spelling correction. Coming up next week - gaming the 'low priority' flag in outlook.