Easy Ways To Master Email Etiquette
Tips for clear, concise, pitch-perfect correspondence
By Joanne Rogers
In this age of information overload, you need to make every communication count. Bombarding clients and colleagues with numerous redundant, or worse, irrelevant emails is a sure path to irritation. You want to craft to-the-point emails with a clear message and purpose. When you’re gathering information by email, the last thing you want is to overburden customers with a mountain of messages.
Here are some tips that have helped me:
- Audience: Write with your recipient and their knowledge in mind. Be concise, while giving him or her enough information to understand what you are asking. Remember: what seems perfectly clear to you may not be to someone else.
- To the point: Don’t enact death-by-email. Let your recipient know right away what you need.
- Subject line: Update your subject line to reflect the current message. A long email feed with the same subject throughout makes it difficult to identify what is going on.
- Reply all: Only send to those who need to be included. Adding non-relevant emails to someone's inbox will not be appreciated. We are all happy Joe and May welcomed a new baby, but I don't need to see every congratulatory note.
- Proofread. Before hitting send, manually copy-edit for spelling and grammar. Spellcheck will not pick up on missing words or words spelled correctly but used in the wrong context. Try Grammarly, a free app that will tidy up your messy, cryptic messages.
- Don’t scan: Read each email in its entirety so you can fully respond to all questions. How much do you love taking the time to craft an email with all the information someone needs, only to have them respond with a question you've already answered? Take the extra 30 seconds to read the entire email.
- Tone: Keep it friendly and professional. How many relationships are damaged or even end because of an ambiguous tone that sends the wrong message?
- Be friendly: Be personable – but not irrelevant. Most people enjoy receiving a message that makes them smile in the midst of a hectic day. (I do!)
These simple tips will help you maintain great email correspondence. What are your email challenges?