Selecting the most appropriate communication medium is one of the critical steps in getting your communication right the first time. Although not always the most appropriate communication medium, email is surely rising in popularity. Below are a few email etiquette guidelines to help ensure your success.
1) Ensure that your email is properly started and properly signed off
Whether you prefer to start with Dear XXX or Hi XXX or Good day XXX etc. and end off with Regards XXX or Best wishes XXX or Many thanks XXX etc., do not just start with the body of your email.
2) Have only one email address in the “To” section
Although there might be some exceptions to this, sending an email to multiple people could delay your feedback, because all of the people listed in the “To” section are now waiting for each other to respond.
3) Double check you “Cc” list
4) Make use of the “Bcc” section for recipients whose contact information should not be shared with the rest of the distribution list
5) Always check your spelling and grammar
6) Always check your punctuation and formatting
Many people tend to make use of either punctuation or formatting to convey emotions, but this can be very dangerous as it can be misinterpreted (for example is the “!” an indication of excitement or anger?). Rather use words to get your message across. Instead of making use of multiple question marks “??????”, just type “to avoid any misunderstanding, could you please clarify for me what you mean by XXX?”
7) Ensure that you are calm when you type or do the final review of your email
8) Ensure that your email is clear and to the point
9) Ensure that the font (type, colour and size) does not make reading your email unnecessarily difficult
10) Ensure that the email background is light enough to not make reading your email unnecessarily difficult
11) Ensure that your subject is relevant and descriptive
12) Ensure that you have attached the relevant attachments
13) Ensure that you have checked that your attachments are not too large
14) Consider the file type of the attachments that you are sending
Do not just assume that your recipients have all the same software programs as you do.
15) Do a final review of your email – recipients list and email body
The goal of your email is to receive information or convey information, so avoid letting emotion get in the way of achieving your end goal.
Also consider that your email can be forwarded to anyone once sent, so make sure that it is of a standard and quality that no matter who receives it in the end, you will not feel embarrassed for being the author.
16) Ensure that you have checked the time before sending the email
More and more people nowadays can receive email via their cell phones, so be sensitive to that – you may need to consider holding back on pressing the send button until it is official business hours, unless it is an extremely urgent email.
As you practice these guidelines over time, it will become easier and flow more naturally. Paying attention to these guidelines will save you a lot of clean up time – time wasted by having to apologize and attempt to repair unnecessarily scarred relationships.
Click the link below to view the complete A2C Newsflash Volume 2 Issue 27 – Email pain or gain?