Do you like it when others think of you and share every joke and obscure links with no hint at what you might find following it — or how it relates to you, them or your relationship?
Be One of the Former "Others"
A great way to put yourself in the former group of "others" rather than the latter is to think, before forwarding, how the recipient — or recipients — will profit from what you share or why they will care. Then, write it down in the forward. The recipient will get much more out of your message:
- They learn quickly what the forwarded message or link is about.
- They can tell whether it interests them.
- They see you care about them (including their interests and their time).
With others' interests in mind, chances are you'll find much to share that improves your contacts' lives instead of burdening them — and enriches your relationship, too.
Explain Why You Think What You Forward Will Interest the Recipient
To heighten the chances your forwards are welcome:
- Spell out, at the top, why you think the recipient will find interesting what you share.
- Be concise.
- Remove superfluous information (and characters or formatting such as indentation) from the original message.
For example, sharing the link to a discussion of room height and why it has varied in time, you could introduce the URL with:
You mentioned renovating an old apartment recently, and how your architect made the high ceilings look more cozy. I've come across this interesting discussion of historical room heights and their many causes. Hope you'll enjoy!
Having found a nice iPhone app for canned replies, you could write:
We both wished for a faster way to reply in iPhone Mail. I've recently installed ReplyButler and find its canned replies quite helpful. Maybe you do, too:
(Updated May 2012)