Top 7 Ways To Communicate Effectively By E-mail
By Denise Cox
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- A first impression is lasting:
E-mail's ease of use has allowed us a bit of leeway in our day-to-day communication. Nonetheless you should ensure you have checked (and double-checked) your spelling and grammar. Particularly in business messages, you want to build a trust with people and make them feel confident about your attention to detail, etc.
- Reply quickly to e-mails:
Internet time is faster than regular time. Put in place a procedure that turns e-mail queries around within 24 hours. Do quote a *part* of the sender's e-mail (so they can be reminded of what you're responding to). Save time by having standard replies or drafts ready for common questions.
- Learn how to add character to your messages:
Plain text (ascii) used within the body of an e-mail is flat and doesn't allow much room for nuance, tone or humor. By using space, asterisks, caps, quotes, and other characters, you can emphasize parts of your message, and also help convey your intended tone. Avoid using *all* caps as they MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE YOU'RE SHOUTING.
- Never send uninvited attachments:
Ask intended recipients whether they accept attachments, and in what format. For one thing, you don't know if the recipient has the same software or even computer platform to accept your missives. Viruses are a serious issue, and attachments are a popular way to deliver them. E-mails with attachments are simply deleted in many businesses.
- Respect cultural differences:
We live in an 'global village' now; you must remember cultural differences and respect the customs of international clients. Be formal in e-mails until you are confident that it is appropriate to adopt a more casual tone with clients and potential clients. It's good practice to avoid informal writing that may offend, such as slang, bad language and nicknames.
- Never send unsolicited mass e-mails:
They may seem like a good marketing idea, but they will sully your company's reputation. Learn how to build your own opt-in mailing list.
- Don't e-mail when you're angry:
Because plain text in an e-mail is so flat, people can often misinterpret the "tone" of a message. If you receive an e-mail that makes you see red, wait 24 hours before responding. Give the sender the benefit of the doubt, and respond in a courteous manner. More often than not the person did not intend to sound as harsh or off- putting as their message came across.
Denise Cox is the owner of all real good internet. Her company provides services in the areas of e-mail publishing, content, and web research. Subscribe to the free monthly 'Business of E-mail' ezine online http://www.allrealgood.com or by sending an empty e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Denise can be reached at email@example.com
Article Submitted On: June 25, 1999