Sending and receiving email have become a part of our day-to-day routine especially for business purposes. But sometimes, people forget about how to respond to their colleagues, customers, and associates properly. This in turn sends out a wrong signal to the recipient. We forget that the way we respond to an email reflects our company values as well. So, here are some do’s and don’ts in sending out emails to help your Caribbean internet marketing.
- Review your Subject line
Everything starts here. Since this is the first thing that your email recipient reads– make it count. Peter Post, director of the Burlington, Vermont-based Emily Post Institute said that subject lines should be reasonably simple and descriptive of what you have written about. Avoid cute or vague subject lines like “Check this out” or “So cool!!” Write professional, look professional. Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expert and author of Conquer Email Overload with Better Habits, Etiquette, and Outlook 2007 also said that your subject should match the content of your message. Don’t mislead your readers.
- Write like you talk.
To rephrase how Peggy Duncan, said it, write properly. That means no text-like shortcuts in your message like “4 U” “C U”, “GR8” “BTW” or anything similar to that. Think of it this way, how would you write in your formal business correspondence? That’s the way you should write your email.
- Keep it brief, but not too brief
Lindsey Pollak, career and workplace expert, e-mail etiquette consultant, and author of Getting From College to Career said that you should state the purpose of the e-mail within the first two sentences. Make sure that when you look at what you’re sending, it doesn’t look like a burden to read, especially for those sending out newsletters and the like.When replying, do not fall for the trap of sending out an “OK” or “Thanks” response. If you feel that there is no need for you to reply to an email, spare the recipient the trouble. As a good practice, if your email is simply about a confirmation or reminder, you may put “No Reply Necessary” at the top of your email, said Peggy Duncan. If you think you need to send a confirmation email. Send one.
- On exclamation points and CAPS LOCK
Never use more than one exclamation point. Writing an email that says “Excellent!!!” or “No!!!!” or WRITING AN EMAIL LIKE THIS TO YOUR CLIENT makes you look rude, arrogant, or condescending. Always practice proper capitalization.
- Emotional? Step away.
I’m sure you have heard stories about employees sending out emotionally charged email about their boss or their job or something on the line. As a rule of thumb, never write an email when you are angry or highly emotional. Writing with an impaired judgement will only worsen the problem you are facing or even start one.
- The e-mail elements: CC, BCC, and Reply All
Most articles discuss these separately. But to sum it all up, here’s what you have to do: know when and why to use them. If they don’t need to know about the conversation, spare them. We all have tons of emails to read.
- Include a signature
Sometimes, we send out emails to new contacts. Therefore, it’s always best to have a signature in your email. Include your complete name, company, email address and other contact details you’d like to share. Try searching how you can add customized signatures in your email provider (Gmail, Yahoo!) or your email client (Outlook, Mozilla Thundebird)
- Auto-respond only when necessary
Auto-responders, or as Gmail calls them, Vacation Responders, are primarily used to inform other that you are unable to get to your email and will respond to them as soon as you can. Only activate them only in the following circumstances:
- When you are on leave/vacation
- When you are REALLY swamped with emails and with work and have little to no time to check your email.
It’s also good practice to tell these three things:
- That you’re sending an automatic response
- Why you’re sending it
- What the recipient should expect as a result (and what action they should take should you be, for example, on vacation and want them to contact someone else)
- Maintain Privacy
Email can be forwarded to practically anyone without your knowledge. Therefore, it’s best to keep private matters off your email. As Judith Kallos, author of E-Mail Etiquette Made Easy, E-Mail: The Manual, and E-Mail: A Write It Well Guide, puts it, “Ask yourself if the topic being discussed is something you’d write on company letterhead or post on a bulletin board for all to see before clicking “send.”
- Talk to them – literally
If you think what you are about to discuss in your email is long, or , if the conversation in your email thread is starting to turn your scroll bar to a scroll line, stop the email and pick up the phone or call him/her via Skype. It’s still the best way to discuss lengthy matters about your company. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to take note of everything you’ve discuss, add someone to take down notes or use a recording software like Pamela for Skype so you can review it later. If it’s something very urgent or you are about to deliver a bad news, better do it personally via phone call.
In the end, your email reflects your company’s image and reputation. Practicing good email etiquette gives the impression that your company has high standards, deals with their clients and customers professionally and most of all, a business they can trust and rely on. So, review your Sent Items now and see what you need to improve on. If ever you need help in your email distribution, management, and more, feel free to contact Sugarmill Media anytime and we will respond to your queries as soon as we can.
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