Emails have been around for more than a decade now, but it is only in the last four or five years that there has been a vast proliferation of devices that allow us to send and access emails anywhere and anytime. Email, or electronic messaging, now easily exceeds telephone traffic in most parts of the world; it is the dominant form of business communication.
As we are sending quite a few professional and personal emails daily, it is easy to develop the notion that we have already mastered the art of composing emails. Filled with such notion, we tend to get careless while composing and sending mails.
The truth is that you could be putting your professional career at great risk, if you start sending sloppy emails. When you are sending an email you could be expressing an opinion or information that will stay on record. You could be revealing a side of your personality to others. Your email will stay in the recipient’s account, probably forever, and it can also be shared and forwarded to others.
There are certain professional standards that you have to keep in mind while using email. Here is list of some ideas for better emailing:
Avoid sloppy English
You may use commonly accepted abbreviations and slang in emails that you send to your friends, relatives or close colleagues, but with business associates, you cannot do without following the standard writing protocol. Your email should present and the organisation that you work for in proper light. This can only be if your email uses traditional spelling, grammar and all the rules of punctuation.
No one has the time to read through a long and verbose email. In order to grab the attention of your business associates, you have to compose a very precise and to the point email. As far as possible, you should concentrate on one subject per email.
Avoid using all caps
In the online world, all caps are considered to be the equivalent of shouting. However, using all lower case can make you seem lazy. So when you want to emphasise certain point of view, it is better to use asterisks or bold formatting for highlighting the most relevant words. But you should avoid using special font or colours, as not every email programme is designed to display them.
Do not click “Reply All” thoughtlessly
Most of us click on the “Reply All” option without giving a second thought. But it is better that you should apply your mind to find out if the information that you are providing is relevant to every recipient. If it is not, then reply to the original sender, could be a better option.
Know when to use BCC
The Blind Copy option is meant for keeping others from seeing who else has been copied in the email. However, it shows more confidence when you directly CC to the relevant party. You can use BCC, however, when sending to a large distribution list, so recipients won’t have to see a huge list of names. Even while using CC, you have to be cautious about whom you are copying, as overuse of CC can lead to the cluttering of the inboxes.
Cultivate personal contact
The facility of emailing should not become an excuse for avoiding personal contact. Face to face and even voice-to-voice communication is important for enabling the relationship to develop. Think of the times you’ve heard someone in the office indignantly say, “Well, I sent you e-mail.” An email should not be used as a tool to avoid personal contact or to get over an uncomfortable situation.
An email is not private
You must never forget the fact that email is not private. Once you click on the “Send” button, you have put the message on the record. People can loose their job for email inappropriately. Email is considered company property and can be retrieved, examined, and used in a court of law.