We have all seen it. The email with all caps, funky font, and skewed formatting making us wonder if an account has been hacked. Writing effectively is something everyone can do. According to various reports there are an estimated 1 billion email users. This number probably varies, but is attributed to the big three: Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail. Of course this is around the world and both personal and business. It’s easy to see why writing emails effectively is something everyone should do no matter if it is to clients, employees, or coworkers. These 10 tips will cut the confusion and get the message across to your intended audience.
Let’s hit a few basics of business email etiquette. Think of it as a refresher. For a larger list click More Tips
- Never use all caps. NEVER! (See I was yelling at you.) Using all caps is unprofessional.
- Use Reply All carefully. No one wants to know what everyone wants for lunch.
- Do not forward unnecessary emails. There are the equivalent of chain mail.
- Place emotionally charged emails in drafts. Wait and see is the best motto.
- Always respond promptly to important emails
- Never SPAM.
- Business email is for business.
Now that we’ve hit the highlights, it is time for tips to help make you email savvy.
1. Get to the Point.
Being concise is number one. Email is not the time to be prolific. Paragraph upon paragraph is daunting to your recipient. A good rule of thumb is to keep emails between 50 and 100 words. If it is longer, consider a phone call or a face-to-face conversation.
2. Hyperlinks are your Friend.
When referring to a specific website, product, or whatnot, use a hyperlink. Then double check to make sure it works. You want to be considerate to your recipient.
3. Be Professional
Remember the email etiquette refresher above? That’s part of being professional. You don’t want to be the virtual stinky email kid that no one will respond to.
4. Provide Information
When you assume….can I assume you know the rest? Seriously, be sure to provide all neccessary information like reference numbers, invoice numbers, location, hours, or any other vital piece(s) of information.
If you are sending an attachment, be sure to mention it in the body of the email. Use PDF when possible.
6. CC and BCC
Be sure if you are using CC and/or BCC that the recipients actually need the information. If not, then forget it.
7. Proofread email
In addition to using spell check, make sure to proofread your email before pressing send. Spell check will not pick up ‘there’ when you meant ‘their’.
Use headers, bullets, and/or numbered lists when appropriate. An easy to read email is an easy to understand email.
9. Give the Recipient Time to Read It
If you need an immediate answer, use the phone.
10. Say Hello
Always begin with a courteous greeting and closing. Also be sure to include your name at the end along with any necessary contact information.
Distillery Web Design and Marketing is a feature website builder, online marketer, and advertising specialty consulting group working with businesses in the Lebanon, Camdenton, Osage Beach, Springfield, and St. Robert areas of Missouri. Facebook, websites, online promotions, print media, radio promotions, online newsletters, graphic design and direct mail campaigns are our specialty. We know how to get the Internet, social networking and new media to work for you!