In a relatively short amount of time, the Internet has gone from a sporadic tool to one of the primary ways we entertain ourselves, do our work, and communicate.
To take it one step further, the growth in mobile phone use also suggests that we are nurturing our in boxes on our mobile phones multiple times a day and deleting unwanted messages, then reading the emails we really want on the computer when we have time.
Truth is we are becoming more efficient in sorting out the messages we want to receive and ignoring or deleting any that don’t interest us.
Now, with most of us spending a significant percentage of our day reading and writing emails, the messages we send can be confusing to others.
You should start with first asking yourself if you should be even be writing an email at all.
If email is the way to go then remember your correspondence is a reflection of your professionalism, principles, and make sure to pay attention to the details.
Nowadays you cannot avoid them so it is necessary that your messages are sent with thought as to the impression they’re making on the receiving end. Most of these problems are easy to address with simple practical changes.
Some sensible suggestions below may help you avoid problems and present a positive impression to the recipients of your messages:
The subject line: The subject line has one job…to get people to open your email! You need to grab your viewers’ attention and summarize what you say in your email. Remember a blank subject line is likely to be passed over as spam.
The message clear and concise: The body of the email should be direct and informative, and it should contain all pertinent information, keep your sentences short and to the point.
Previous messages in a reply: Always include your previous messages, especially if it’s been several days since your last communication.
Courteous and respectful: Emails are viewed as more informal than traditional letters but your messages are a reflection of your competence and integrity, avoid informal language, slang, gibberish, and inappropriate abbreviations.
The tone: Since when sending an email we cannot see the reader’s body language or facial expressions, it is important not to have your message misunderstood. Be careful of your words, sentence length, punctuation, and capitalization…these can all be easily misinterpreted without visual and auditory cues.
Proofread: Before you hit “send,” take a moment to reread your email for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Pay careful attention to the length of your email, people are more likely to read short, concise emails than long, rambling ones. However while making sure your messages are brief, don’t omit crucial information.
Emails have slowly taken over the place of the traditional business letters for quite some time now, and even though they may take a lot less effort to answer, your email messages are as much a part of your professional image as the clothes you wear.
Other people are as busy as you are and appreciate anything you do to expedite reading their emails. If you’re unsure about your email writing, you can also consider getting feedback from a trusted colleague.
Remember, try to imagine how others might interpret the tone of your message. Be polite, and always proofread what you have written before you click “send.”
How are your email writing skills?
Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC. We work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition. We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication and accountability throughout their organization. 55Questions.com
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