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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Email Etiquettes – Must Know: Last part

As we know that email writing is a skill and we need to know it to improve our communication skill. I will brief  all 11 points today on email etiquettes.

1- Be Concise and to the point and Avoid long sentences

Do not make an e-mail longer than it needs to be. Remember that reading an e-mail is harder than reading printed communications and a long e-mail can be very discouraging to read.

2- Always read what you have written before sending

It is so easy to make a mistake on an email that will make you look uneducated or cause you to lose clients. I know someone that I was consulting with that sent out a message to all of his investing clients. The message was talking about how they should come to him to set up a business trust to protect their assets. Instead of business trusts, the message said business "thrusts."

3- Never compose an email if you are angry

You may have just received an email that upset you. If you do, do not hastily send a response. When you respond to the email out of anger, it just makes a bigger mess. Not only does it make a larger problem, people begin to associate you as the person making it a problem.
The best thing to do is to step away from the computer, go for a short walk, and then come back to it when you have calmed down. You want to be viewed as the problem solver instead of the one causing the problem. Having a cool head while writing an email will really make a good impression in the workplace.

4- Read the email before you send it

A lot of people don't bother to read an email before they send it out, as can be seen from the many spelling and grammar mistakes contained in emails. Apart from this, reading your email through the eyes of the recipient will help you send a more effective message and avoid misunderstandings and inappropriate comments.

5- Do not type in all capital letters

IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS IT SEEMS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING. This can be highly annoying and might trigger an unwanted response in the form of a flame mail. Therefore, try not to send any email text in capitals.

6- Take care with abbreviations and emotions.

In business emails, try not to use abbreviations such as BTW (by the way) and LOL (laugh out loud). The recipient might not be aware of the meanings of the abbreviations and in business emails these are generally not appropriate. The same goes for emoticons, such as the smiley :-). If you are not sure whether your recipient knows what it means, it is better not to use it.

7- Use a meaningful subject.

Try to use a subject that is meaningful to the recipient as well as yourself. For instance, when you send an email to a company requesting information about a product, it is better to mention the actual name of the product, e.g. 'Product A information' than to just say 'product information' or the company's name in the subject.

8- Use active instead of passive sentence.

Try to use the active voice of a verb wherever possible. For instance, 'We will process your order today', sounds better than 'Your order will be processed today'. The first sounds more personal, whereas the latter, especially when used frequently, sounds unnecessarily formal.

9- Try to use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation.

This is not only important because improper spelling, grammar and punctuation give a bad impression of your company, it is also important for conveying the message properly. E-mails with no full stops or commas are difficult to read and can sometimes even change the meaning of the text. And, if your program has a spell checking option, why not use it?

10- Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions.

An email reply must answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions – If you do not answer all the questions in the original email, you will receive further e-mails regarding the unanswered questions, which will not only waste your time and your customer’s time but also cause considerable frustration. Moreover, if you are able to pre-empt relevant questions, your customer will be grateful and impressed with your efficient and thoughtful customer service. Imagine for instance that a customer sends you an email asking which credit cards you accept. Instead of just listing the credit card types, you can guess that their next question will be about how they can order, so you also include some order information and a URL to your order page. Customers will definitely appreciate this.

11- Answer Swiftly:
Customers send an e-mail because they wish to receive a quick response. If they did not want a quick response they would send a letter or a fax. Therefore, each e-mail should be replied to within at least 24 hours, and preferably within the same working day. If the email is complicated, just send an email back saying that you have received it and that you will get back to them. This will put the customer's mind at rest and usually customers will then be very patient!

Let's inculcate improving email writing by learning above few points, which definitely improve email writing skill.


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