Imagine a situation where you have done all the hard work while following up on a lead with a potential customer and building a business case, or working hard on project deadlines for your manager. You are expecting to reap the fruits of your hard work. Just then, you could set off the potential customer/manager by writing a silly email.
Here are a few things which you can do to ruin your communication over emails, and how to avoid doing these mistakes, that is only if you wish to. J
Decide if this mail needs a reply to all the other recipients, and only when you are absolutely sure, then do it.
In the first 1-3 lines of your email, specify what this email is about.
Imagine sending a mail to a manager in To: with the subordinate in Cc:; wherein the manager required only information about the situation and the actual action needed to be taken by the subordinate. Be attentive about whom to put in To: and Cc:.
When people start talking in email, please stop; instead pick the phone and give them a call.
You would not want to spam your manager’s mailbox with each little communication you are running. Take a wise decision on what he/she needs to know and accordingly mark him on those mails.
All-Caps come across as shouting, and no-caps invoke the image of a lazy teenager. Regardless of your intention, people will respond accordingly.
Think before you react to some sort of nuance on a professional mail, as you would not want to regret it later. It is in your best interest to simply avoid doing it.
- Using different fonts throughout the message content
- Using colored fonts in a professional email
- Vaguely using bold, italic or underline font style
- Not keeping the size of the font visible and constant
- Not keeping the paragraph and line spacing legitimate and visually appealing
Unless you really intend to do it the wrong way, praise in public and criticize in private. Don’t send anything over email that you wouldn’t want posted with your name attached in a meeting room.
If it’s the message that matters, recognize that attachments
- consume bandwidth (do you want your recipient to ignore your request so as to avoid paying for a mobile download?)
- can carry viruses
- don’t always translate correctly for people who read their email on portable devices.
It is important that the receiver knows to look for and open the files. Also, appropriately name the attachments so that the receiver knows what each document is just by looking at the name.
Courtesy is always important, no matter how short the email really is. So, you can afford to begin with a not-so-costly “thank you”. Then, include an accurate follow-up statement such as, “I will contact you again with further information,” or “I look forward to hearing your ideas.” If a response is required, be sure to state that information in the message.
If you need more than 24 hours to collect information or make a decision, send a brief response explaining the delay or even with just an acknowledgement that you have received the mail and will be doing the needful.
Email is an important aspect of dealing with your professional communications, if not the most important one. Surprisingly, most people do not pay enough weightage to drafting a proper email as they would do while drafting a legal document or a contract. Also, they lack a formal training on writing business emails, which might account for some of most important outcomes while dealing with their professional contacts.
While a professionally written email can leave your clients and colleagues impressed and lend an ear to what you have to say, on the other hand a loosely written email can get them off the hook and disinterested.
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