Email Etiquette Examination

A gentle reminder to some, a kick in the pants for others; here are some details to remember when sending an email for business.

In this fast-paced age, it’s easy to forget that an email is your most frequently utilized voice– without the advantage of using the 6 elements of voice or body language. Plus, since the reader can’t see you or actually hear you, what’s important to you may be missed by the recipient’s eyes and ears.

More bad news: tone – or mood, doesn’t transmit easily thru email. What’s more, people always assume the worst when reading this ‘electronic mail’. Be mindful of your wording. Review your writing wearing the reader’s perspective.

Here are some other tips to permit your communication skills to assist you while modeling professionalism, attention to detail, and organization skills:

  • Make the subject line POP. When composing this line, think ahead to a time when you will want to retrieve the mail. A project name, client name or date will allow you to find filed email.
  • Update the subject line to represent facts and details currently reflected in the email.
  • Don’t list recipients until ready to send the document.
  • Include addresses in the To: field for those who you would like a response from.
  • Include addresses in the Cc: field for those who you are just FYI’ing.
  • Utilize the BCC feature so your whole contact list isn’t exposed for the world to see.
  • Mindfully reply to ‘all’ if that’s what you want to do. But don’t hit that button by mistake!
  • Highlight important points with bold or italics. Some are offended by ALL CAPS: THEY FEEL AS IF YOU’RE YELLING AT THEM.
  • Spelling mistakes are pathetic in email; we all have spell check.

Take a deep breath before jumping to conclusions. Sometimes emails get buried, or land in Spam. Feel free to send a follow up to an unanswered email by forwarding the previously sent message with a short ‘checking in’ message. But first- keep in mind that your sense of urgency may not be pacing with your beneficiary. And before getting upset that someone didn’t respond, check to see if their reply was inadvertently deleted or sent to your Trash or Junk folder. It happens all the time!

Last suggestion: If you need to send an emotionally charged email, draft it, walk away and re-read the piece after letting it ‘rest’ for a bit. Is the tone appropriate in the reader’s eye?

O.K. Hit Send.

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