✔ Make certain you include a courteous greeting and closing in your email. This ensures your email is kind and not terse.
✔ Address your contact with an appropriate level of formality. Respect others and their preferences.
✔ Emails with typos lose their value. Spell check prior to sending. In particular, the contacts name.
✔ “Please” and “thank you” go a long way in email. Once you have completed your email, read it aloud and be clear in your mind that your tone reflects courtesy and respect. Choose words that reveal what you mean rather than a formatted document.
✔ Include all relevant details or information. Generalities can often cause confusion and unnecessary back and forth’s. Choose words that express your point of view and make your message understandable. Your email will read well when you take the necessary time to compose your thoughts and words.
✔ Keep emails concise and save long conversations for the telephone. Use clear and complete sentences. Random phrases and cryptic thoughts do not lend themselves to clear communication.
✔ Do you have good sentence structure? Check for the first word capitalized in your sentences and verify you have not overused punctuation, like exclamations and question marks. These are misread and perceived as rude and condescending [!!!!] [????].
✔ Never use CAPS in the body of your email. CAPS on emails equate to SHOUTING at someone face-to-face. If you are emotionally charged, simply walk away from your device or computer. Review your email and make certain there is no room for misinterpretation. Will your email give a false or bad impression?
✔ When sending attachments, ask the following questions: Is this a good time to send the attachment? What format would you prefer? Also, check your file size. Large attachments fill the recipient’s inbox causing all subsequent email to bounce.
✔ “Reply” to the sender alone. Refrain from using the “reply to all,” and giving your opinion to those who are simply not interested. This is impolite.
✔ Avoid being presumptuous and you will avoid unnecessary misunderstandings. Never assume the intent of an email.
✔ Do not request delivery and read receipts.
✔ Do not use email to discuss confidential information.
✔ Just because someone has not asked for a response does not mean you ignore him or her. It is polite to acknowledge the other person in a timely conduct. A response within 24-hours is the standard protocol. If the sender has requested your urgent or eager attention, then be kind, be considerate, and prioritize your responses accordingly.
✔ Reflect your name properly in the ‘From:’ field. The protocol is as follows; Jane A. Doe not jane doe or JANE DOE or plain Jane. Using pet names is unprofessional and improper; bigmama, sexysuzy, rebel etc. Simply, you lose your audience and respect.
✔ The “Subject:” field accurately reflects your message.
✔ The Golden Rule: Leave emotion out of emails. Do not send bad news over an email.
✔ Use the sandwich approach in your email. Start with pleasantries, “Hello, how are you?” and conclude with more pleasantries, “I appreciate your time and help, thank you.” Demonstrate gratitude.
✔ Always end your email with “Thank You,” or “Sincerely,” or “Best Regards” – something!
✔ Make one last check before you press “Send.” Check Address/Addresses in the “To:” field and confirm that your email will in fact go to the right person. Read your email and check for discrepancies in your tone, grammar, and readability.
Now you have a set of instructions to place in your toolbox of email etiquette. It pays to polish our conduct online as it creates a favorable outcome for both you and your personal and professional relationships.
Care and be aware!
An executive presence is important for one's corporate success and so is a caring presence for the success in all your relationships.
Until next time...plan, produce, pause, then press "Send" on your polished email.
Copyright © Deborah Choma