In this new-age of slangs and short-handing writings, we are more concerned about hitting the ‘reply’ button faster, than giving a thought to what we have written. Why is it so important to send a ‘proper’ text or email?
Your messages should be precise, simply worded and proper. Instead of a lengthy mail reciting an unnecessary background story, emails that get to the point are more effective. Poorly worded emails can sometimes risk you costly lawsuits.
Incorrect e-mail content and format can sabotage your reputation in the professional world. Consider some of these points to make a good impression on your clients and bosses.
- Make sure your grammar, punctuation and spellings are at point. Not only does it give a bad impression to the receiver, a misspell, no commas or an improper sentence can make it hard for the other person to understand your message. Also avoid using unnecessary exclamation marks- you may look childish and unprofessional. Don’t write in capitals- looks as if you are shouting!
- Be concise and to the point. Longer emails are discouraging.
- Never share private information via mail. If confidential information gets into wrong hands, you may face serious legal repercussions. Discuss only public matters; what you’d write on a company letterhead, cannot be posted on the bulletin board.
- Always give your introduction. Just because you had previously spoken on phone or had meeting, you cannot assume the person receiving your email will simply recognize you by your id. Include your name, a simple reminder of where you met last, and maybe a sentence or two about who you are.
- Keep your message clean. Clean up the excessive carets (>>>) , or long list of email addresses that weren’t protected by Bcc. Don’t leave the message thread, it is very confusing to find the unread message out of the other reads ones. Also make sure you aren’t sending forwarded messages, if you are, at least remove the Fcc from the subject bar.
- Your subject should be very clear. With so many emails clogging up the mail box, a simple and descriptive subject line helps to get to the point. If your email subject is obscure, the receiver may not pay attention to it, and skip it. Avoid subject lines that have all caps, excessive exclamation marks, or URL links. These tend to look like spam. Don’t hesitate to change the subject line, if the email thread is getting too long, especially when this message has to do nothing with the previous ones.
- Always mention about any files you are attaching with the email. If you are attaching two or more files, make sure the files have proper names, so that the receiver knows at glance the subject.
- While auto-responders make your job easy, most formal business should be personally addressed, i.e., included a customized personal content.
- Don’t use the ‘high priority’ option unless it is actually really important. We don’t want to be the boy who cried wolf.
- Read, revise and format your emails before you send them. Errors in emails show carelessness and impatience.
Your email is a reflection of you.