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BLUF Your Way to Peak Email Productivity

communication email performance Nov 16, 2023
New email message using BLUF

Do you ever open an email expecting a simple update only to be hit with a wall of text that seems too dense to navigate? If your answer is 'yes,' then you've experienced first-hand the need for Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) in email communication.

BLUF is a powerful writing concept utilized primarily in military and business settings. It demands putting the most essential information upfront so that readers can immediately grasp the message. It's especially vital in a corporate setting, where efficient communication is key to maintaining productivity.

BLUF and Employee Performance

Applying the BLUF principle in emails can facilitate employee performance in several ways. Firstly, it allows individuals to quickly comprehend the main point, making it easier to understand and respond. Secondly, it streamlines decision-making processes since the necessary information is available upfront. Lastly, BLUF ensures clarity, reducing the likelihood of misunderstanding and saving everyone's time.

Let's look at a few examples to help us understand the BLUF concept in email communication.


Subject: Update

Hi team,

I trust everyone is having a great week. I just wanted to talk about our project. We've been working very hard over the last few months and I'm really proud of what we've accomplished so far. We've had some ups and downs but overall, things have been progressing well. Anyway, I wanted to tell everyone that we need to shift our project deadline from July 25th to August 1st because of a few unforeseen issues.


Better BLUF

Subject: Project Deadline Change

Hi team,

I hope everyone is doing well. I'm writing to inform you that our project deadline has been moved from July 25th to August 1st due to a few unforeseen issues. Your continued hard work and dedication have been appreciated and I'm confident we'll meet the new deadline.



Subject: New Project Deadline: August 1st


Due to unforeseen issues, our project deadline is now August 1st, moved from July 25th. Your efforts are greatly appreciated as we adapt to this change.


As you can see, the third example using BLUF is concise, to the point, and conveys the essential information immediately (check out that subject line!). It's easy to digest, leaving no room for confusion.

Here's what you can do. Next time you're drafting an email, ask yourself, "What's the bottom line?" Then, make sure to state that upfront before adding extra details. Consider the reader's perspective - if they can understand your main point in the first few lines, you're applying BLUF effectively.

Using BLUF technique effectively takes practice. With each email, aim to make your point quicker and clearer. Over time, you'll find that this leads to smoother communication, quicker decision-making, and improved productivity overall.



Davoren, J. (2018). The Importance of Clear Communication in Business. Chron.

Schleckser, J. (2018, June 19). B.L.U.F.F. Your Way Into Great Communication. Inc.

Collins, K. (2016, November 22). How to Write Email with Military Precision. Harvard Business Review.