Did you know: 24 billion hours are wasted every year due to unproductive and long meetings? We all have contributed some hours to this humongous number, but it’s not too late to develop a good, productive meeting culture.
Running productive meetings is all about how good your strategy and planning are. If you give a purpose to every meeting by describing its what, why, when, and how in the schedule, every ‘who’ will join the meeting with the same purpose and make fruitful contributions. To help you ace this craft of productive meeting scheduling, here’s a comprehensive guide on scheduling meetings by email and why it’s the most sought-after option according to productivity gurus.
Why schedule meetings by email?
Let’s get real: Be it in a startup or any legacy business, your email inbox is vital in keeping track of what’s going on and what needs to be done. From looking at pending tasks, responding to reminders, to checking out upcoming calendar events, it’s all in the mail. It’s also the best way to reach out to people and get their attention immediately. So why not schedule meetings too over the mail?
The biggest productivity hack is equipping your email with extensions that help you perform day-to-day jobs from the mailbox itself. If you’re still not scheduling meetings over the mail, we have some compelling reasons for you to start doing it:
- All the invitees can join the meeting directly from their mailbox instead of searching for a link 5 minutes before the scheduled time.
- The invitees will be on the same page with the agenda to be discussed and can track the awaited participants.
- The recipients can note the urgency or confidentiality of the meeting by the label you assign to the mail.
- You can edit specific details after scheduling the meeting, so you’re always in charge of smooth communication.
- Recipients can directly respond with their availability and RSVP through the mail notification.
- The prospective joiners can add the meeting to their preferred calendar from the mail.
- If you wish to invite someone not on your mailing list, you can easily ask someone to forward your email to the concerned person without the chance of delivering any incorrect information.
- Mail communication can reduce the overall confusion and chances of miscommunication that may occur while sending individual invitations.
- All your meetings will be available in one place for record-keeping.
How to go about scheduling a meeting via email?
Now that you’re convinced of the pros of scheduling meetings via email, let’s focus on how to do it. Scheduling a meeting via email sounds like simply creating an event for everyone to join in or sending out another communication to your colleagues. We can help you craft the perfect meeting invite by mail for collaborative brainstorming and teamwork.
Start with the guest list, always.
As a part of initial planning, before sending an email, create an exhaustive list of people you want to invite to the meeting. Ensure that you have each person's correct email address and contact details so everyone is in the loop.
Your subject line can make or break it.
Be it a mobile notification or a pop-up on the laptop, all your invitees will glance at the mail notification with its subject line. Since it’s the first thing recipients can see, give them a compelling motive through clear and concise subject lines.
Wrong: Meet me at 4:00 PM
Right: New project discussion at 4:00 PM | Conference Hall
Keep the salutations formal.
Formal salutations are professional and target a broader category of people. You may be inviting both the CXOs and new hires of the company to the same meeting. Keeping it formal, without gendered salutations, is the best.
Wrong: Hey guys, what’s up?
Right: Dear Communications Team
Introduce yourself, even if everyone knows you.
If you’re new to the group, adding a brief introduction can help everyone develop personal connections with you. Even as a team leader, a one-line introduction reaffirms your employees’ faith in you and projects your image as grounded.
Wrong: Hello there! I invite you to brainstorming sessions in the staff meeting room. Please be there.
Right: I’m Brian Cook, and I’ve recently joined the company as a Financial Analyst. I’m looking forward to meeting you to discuss the annual budget plans of your department before the end of this fiscal year.
Add some context to the meeting.
All employees have work to do rather than attend an unplanned meeting. To ensure that most people turn up, mention the meeting agenda in the mail body. If you want specific participation from the recipients, mention that so everyone comes prepared.
Wrong: Meeting at 4:00 PM in the Conference Hall regarding your monthly plan. Please be there.
Right: Hello, team! I am… and I’d like to discuss your monthly calendar to develop a communication strategy for your department.
Draft an actionable mail.
Okay, so the recipient is ready to attend the meeting. Do they write to you to confirm their availability? Most people won’t go through the troubles of writing a new mail, so you should create an actionable mail with a quick response. Prompt the readers to take action in the mail body.
Wrong: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your availability.
Right: Please confirm your availability by accepting this meeting request from the topmost bar.
It’s wise to send a gentle reminder a few minutes before the meeting, reiterating the meeting's location, time, and purpose. Following up also suggests that the recipient’s presence is essential, helping you secure more participants. You can leverage the automated follow-ups feature of Loopin to reduce your workload.
Pro tip post meeting: Auto-share meeting outcomes
Once you’ve concluded a successful meeting, add to its productivity by auto-sharing meeting minutes and action items with the attendees. This practice will keep your team aligned and accountable. Loopin can help you make notes during the meeting without switching tabs, and further share them with everyone else.
Additionally, make it a point to read every mail thoroughly before sending them out. You can also share a link to your calendar in case of one-to-one meetings. Keep a tab of who is available when, and schedule meetings accordingly.
Bonus for readers: Templates to schedule meetings via email
To schedule a meeting via email with someone you don’t know
I am (your name) from the (your department) team, and I’d like to schedule a meeting with you next week to discuss the (purpose). I’ll be available on (2-3 time and date suggestions) to conduct this meeting in (location).
If the above-mentioned slots work for you, let me know by (deadline) so that I can proceed with the necessary arrangements. In case you’re occupied in the given slots, please share your availability, so we can work out a time and date together.
Looking forward to a productive discussion with you.
To schedule a meeting via email with someone you know
Hello (their name),
Hope you’re doing well! I was hoping to schedule a meeting with you on (date and time) at (location) to discuss the (purpose).
If the date and time don’t work for you, let me know a suitable time from your end, so that we can work out something together.
Thank you, and I’m looking forward to meeting you again!
(Your name and designation)
To sum up
Writing good emails is an art. Scheduling meetings by mail is taking it a notch higher, but with accurate strategy and planning, you will notice its impact on your daily scheduling.
Summing up the crucial things to remember while scheduling a meeting via email:
- Start with the guest list, always.
- Your subject line can make or break it.
- Keep the salutations formal.
- Introduce yourself, even if everyone knows you.
- Add some context to the meeting.
- Draft an actionable mail.
- Follow up.
- Pro tip post meeting: Auto-share meeting outcomes
Using tools like Loopin, you can systematically organize your notes, help you collaborate with others, send reminders and share meeting minutes, all from the same platform. Trust the potential of a modern-day scheduler and make your meetings productive with Loopin.