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How to win at email

Follow these tips to craft an email so compelling that the recipient will carry out its every command.


Daniel Kibblesmith


Sam Weiner


Posted on Jan 14, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 9:30 pm CDT

Daniel Kibblesmith and Sam Weiner are the authors of the satirical self-improvement manual How to Win at Everything. Their exclusive series for the Daily Dot will teach you how to win at the only thing that matters: the Internet.

How to win at email

We live in a golden age of correspondence, when every email that flutters into your inbox is a thoughtfully worded expression of friendship/exclusive offer to trade money for girth-enhancing berries. Follow these tips to craft an email so compelling that the recipient will carry out its every command:

  • Start off with a riveting subject line, like “Urgent!” or “RE: Mom Death.”
  • To keep the body of your email brief, use internet abbreviations like LOL (“Laughing Out Loud”), ASAP (“As Slowly As Permitted”), or FGATSHDAKMBSC (“Finally Got Around To Seeing Hugo. Definitely A Kids’ Movie But Still Cool.”)

  • Employ persuasive words like “Please” and “If You Do Not Forward This Email to 5 People, A Girl Who Killed Herself Will Show Up in Your Mirror.”


  • USE ALL CAPS, like the Torah does.

  • Always close with a formal sign-off, like “Best,” “Regards,” or “Never mind, I’m calling you right now.”


Don’t get attached

Avoid downloading harmful attachments by learning what these common filetypes are:

  • .pdf: Pretty Dangerous File

  • .doc: This is a note from your doctor.

  • .mp3: Backwards-attachment sent at 3pm

  • .exe: This attachment was meant for an “Executive.” Install immediately for hot business tips!

  • .jpeg: Jarring Pornography, Extremely Graphic

A final tip: How to email anyone

If you don’t know the email address of the person you’re trying to reach, simply draw a picture of their face with your mouse and confidently hit “Send.”

Illustrations by Jason Reed and Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Jan 14, 2014, 9:00 am CST