Tips to Improve Your E-Mail Communications
1. Know when to use e-mail. Don’t use it to deliver bad news, reprimand, or persuade. Instead, pick up the phone or meet face-to-face.
2. Follow the Rule of Three when e-mailing. Send, reply, send, pick up the phone if another e-mail is needed.
3. Keep it short. Don’t expect people to read more than what’s necessary.
4. Don’t type in upper-case letters. It’s considered shouting and is very hard to read.
5. Don’t promote “spam.” It fills up recipients’ mailboxes and is unprofessional.
6. Create a meaningful subject line. Make sure those who receive too much e-mail read your message.
7. Tell the recipient what you want. Do you need a reply? By what date? What action do you want them to take? Is it a FYI only? Be clear in your message.
8. Proofread, proofread, proofread! This communication tool represents your image. Check spelling, grammar, and use of words.
9. Use “CC” sparingly. This can be a real pain for users who don’t really need to see your communication.
10. Use a signature at the end of all e-mails. The reader may want to get back in touch with you via phone, snail mail, or fax. Your message may be forwarded to another party who doesn’t have your contact information. Your signature should contain all the information your letterhead does.
11. Use attachments effectively. Some recipients may be unable to open your attachment. Attach only pertinent information. Avoid attachments that are too long and clog up the recipient’s computer.
12. Use the “out-of-office” auto response feature to alert those that send you messages that you are out of the office and when you’ll return. If you are checking voice mail while out, let the sender know you can be reached that way.
13. To avoid e-mail tennis, finish a message with “no reply needed,” or NRN.
14. As a company, establish purging criteria. An overloaded e-mail box slows down the whole system and makes retrieving mail cumbersome.
15. Change the subject line when you reply. Let the recipient know the new subject or if the content contains the reply or a question.
16. Don’t send an e-mail when you’re emotional about the topic.
17. Maintain standard business-writing protocol. Don’t use texting shorthand or cute artwork.
18. Only use the return receipt feature when absolutely necessary.
19. Be careful when forwarding e-mails. Content may be personal or confidential.
20. Check your junk mail folder regularly for important messages that should be in your inbox.
Emily Huling Selling Strategies, Inc. P.O. Box 200 Terrell, NC 28682
Phone: 888-309-8802 Fax: 888-309-7355 www.sellingstrategies.com