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The Golden Email

Today’s post on e-mail etiquette is an important one as it relates to professionalism. This is an area in which many home based consultants could use some pointers. I am pleased to welcome the author of this article, guest blogger, William Eve, who has joined us previously to discuss Network Strategies.

Email has become as ubiquitous as a phone call- no matter where you are, you almost always have access to e-mail. With that ease of access, so too has come the slack in writing etiquette. In business, any correspondence should carry with it a certain amount of propriety and style, e-mail included. Here are some tips to make sure every e-mail you send, sends with it a clear message of professionalism.

Before Writing

Before a single word is written in an e-mail, consider two things: What are you trying to say or ask, remember this will first exist as just a subject in the recipient’s inbox.

What are you trying to say? Ask yourself this question. Are you looking for an answer to a question? Is it urgent? Can it wait? Are there other people involved? Ensure that whatever you write is pertinent to what you are writing and why. Consider also that most people access their e-mails on mobile devices and have limited screen space. Having to read a multi-page e-mail can be difficult on such devices. Make it short, get to the point.

It starts as a subject. Remember- before an e-mail is opened, it exists only as a subject in the recipient’s inbox. Do not add multiple exclamation points if you feel the e-mail is important. Simple makes a better subject. If possible, sum up the entire purpose for the e-mail in the subject. Use the body of the e-mail as support information for your subject.

When Writing

When writing an e-mail, remember that this is not an instant messenger client reserved for you and your friends. This, most often, is a monitored for of communication for the business. This means that very likely, most of your e-mails are logged. Never write an e-mail you wouldn’t feel comfortable sending everybody.

Don’t send it to everybody. Too often, e-mails are blindly sent to a large group without considering who this message is really intended for. Consider who really needs this information and who doesn’t. Know the difference between CC and BCC. When it comes to e-mail, CC is usually someone that needs to be in the loop but not necessarily contribute. CC recipients are visible to everyone. BCC is reserved for people that you need to apprise of a situation- BCC recipients are invisible to everyone else.

Don’t send a wall of text. This is especially a problem when composing e-mail on a mobile device. Use line breaks, separate ideas and help the reader understand content. Don’t send 30 lines of text with no breaks in them. It’s hard to read and hard to follow.

Before Hitting Send

Too often, people finish their thought and hit send. This is not only unprofessional and irresponsible, you also then unload the burden of spelling and grammar errors onto the reader. Make sure, before you hit send, that you review these simple steps:

  • Did you ask what you needed to ask?
  • Does your subject match your body e-mail?
  • Re-read the e-mail, check for spelling errors, use spell-check if you have it.
  • If you require an answer by a certain time, did you include that?
  • Did you include important information the recipient does not already have?
  • Have you included attachments?
  • Have you included contact information?

Simply put, e-mail is best thought of as a faster business letter. Most of these rules when writing a business letter have been lost on the e-mail generation. Take your time, write something clear, concise, professional and you will be well on your way to better corporate communique.

This article was written by William from homeloanfinder.com.au. Visit HomeLoanFinder to compare home loan interest rates and find the right mortgage broker.

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