• 19 March 2024
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 7

Onboarding people is hard.

Onboarding busy people is even harder.

The secret to engaging busy people is to communicate more clearly.

I’m always on the look out for content that is applicable to customer onboarding. I found this webinar from the Harvard Kennedy School that talks about “The Science of Corresponding with Busy People.”

Todd Rogers, a behavioral scientist and professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School shares his take on the five principles for effective communication and how to implement them in your writing (emails, task instructions, meeting recaps, etc).

The 5 principles Todd shared are:

  1. Use fewer words. Less is more. Get to the point faster to get people to higher engagement.
  2. Decrease reading-level. Making it easier to read will increase engagement.
  3. Format to direct attention. Formatting can highlight what the writer thinks is most important. Use it judiciously.
  4. Make key information obvious. The point of the communication should be obvious. Don’t make it a maze to figure out what the communication is about.
  5. Make responding easy. When it’s easy to respond, people are more likely to engage.

How can we apply these principles to enhance onboarding in the following communications?

  1. Task Instructions
  2. Meeting Recaps
  3. PM Notes

Share your thoughts below or join the virtual workshop here to share your thoughts!

5 replies

Userlevel 1

All 5 of those principles are great and I find they have been very helpful in encouraging customer engagement.

Userlevel 1

I love the quote “I didnt have time to send you a short letter”. Writing good emails takes time.


I find that sending bullets points rather than paragraphs gets the points across faster and captures the valuable attention of those consuming these communications. I value their time enough to boil the message down to only what matters. Niceties are great, but our communications are laser focused on getting them up and running. I am careful not to error on the side of being to sterile or clinical but we are mindful to cut the fluff. 

Where can we find the recording of this webinar?

Userlevel 7

Right here @bbell