E-mail practices you should dump right now!
Emails are the fastest ways to communicate your thoughts and requirements to the recipient you are sending them to. However, it is nonetheless a one-way communication and there is lot of scope for the recipient to imagine over the mail – your intention, tone, urgency, and most importantly how you’ve tried to communicate (positively/negatively). So, while explaining all this in a follow up mail doesn’t make sense, it would be better if you thought over for a minute before you hit the ‘Send’ option.
Follow the below highlighted e-mail best practices to come across as a smart and expressive professional, even if you had to at times display your firm side. So, here you go…
Refrain from adding negativity to your mails
As shared above, your recipient could interpret the tone you’ve followed in your mail in his or her own way. So, even if there is a tinge of negativity in the mail, your recipient could multiply the impression manifold. So, apply caution while you are framing your mail body to avoid creating that impression. If you have to provide negative feedback or criticize a task or deed, do so in person. Don’t come across as an arrogant individual; let your team member or client or vendor understand the feedback so they can draw a positive outcome of this.
Avoid writing ‘Urgent’ in your subject line
Sure, being a business head or the head of a delivery team can compel you to create steep deadlines for your team or other teams that you’re working with. However, not every second mail of your should carry the ‘urgent’ tag with it. This will not only kill the purpose of the mail, it will also make you come across as a ‘not-so-serious’ individual who doesn’t prioritize things. Rather, use a subject line that will best describe the situation – ‘Report to be displayed in the meeting at 3 pm today’, ‘Client wants to see the sample tomorrow morning’ or something on those lines would be better. Not only will you be able to directly communicate the urgency, you will also be able to avoid writing the term in all your mails. Reserve the term for special occasions!
Be careful before hitting the ‘Reply to All’ option
Not all mails require being sent to everyone in the loop – thank you mails, mail to acknowledge receipt of a particular delivery and stuff like that are just a few to identify here. Rather than sending to all, send the acknowledgement to only the person who needs to be acknowledged.
Don’t write mails that are either too short or too long
The tone of a mail can also be interpreted or misinterpreted via its length. So, rather than keeping it too short or too long, keep it as crisp but enough to explain. While a very short mail may appear as apathetic or sarcastic, a very long one may actually lose the focal point and thereby interest of the reader. If you are time pressed, reply saying that you’d get back in a short while after reviewing the delivery or task or if you have several points to put across, prefer the phone or visit personally.
‘Out of Office’ automated reply
Last but not the least; remember to enable the ‘Out of Office’ message before you pack your bags to go on an out of town trip. Don’t keep anyone waiting for long to get their reply to an e-mail. Also, suggest an alternative that could be reached in case of your absence. This looks professional and in case of need, at least the work won’t be halted.
Aren’t these simple to apply? Try them today and see how different they will make you as an e-mail person. They sure will help you express yourself better. If there are some other e-mail habit that you had been practicing, which you shouldn’t have, don’t forget to share them with us…