Email communications have gone beyond the walls of an organisation, it has extended its arm to become a general means of communication just like our social media sites. However, a lot of us abuse email use, we use it like a general chat forum. This is not only wrong but it passes a wrong message about the sender.
Also, in a corporate organisation, emails are always used as evidence to back up claims. You don’t want to see what you have sent out in a moment of ignorance sitting on these paper making you look unprofessional and stupid. Remember, e-mail correspondence lasts forever.
Dictionary defines email as a system for sending messages from one individual to another via telecommunications links between computers or terminals using dedicated software.
In order not to join the mass number of people that has become an abuser of emails and how best to use this, I have written some tips you should embrace when using and email and how best to use it.
#1: Always Acknowledge Email
I can be so guilty of these many times. I would read emails and completely forget to respond to them especially when I receive a number of mails at the same time. But trust me it is an etiquette you should learn to get used to. And if it is an email that requires you to take an action but you would not be able to do it immediately, please send a mail to advise that you will do it soon.
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#2: Never sound Too Personal With Mails
Even if the recipient is your father, never ever sound personal. Avoid using words like ‘hello’, ‘hi’, ‘yo’, hiya’– all these make you unprofessional and it is not cool. Always say, “Hello sir’ or ‘Dear Michael’, ‘Hello Micheal‘ instead.
I remember when I responded to a mail like this, “That’s all we have o”. The gist to the response is this- they needed a document, we have gone back and forth on it and there was no head way. The recipient is someone I say hello to outside the worksphere and I completely forgot myself in that moment and responded as such. Imagine my horror when a thread was sent months later and my top bosses were copied in the mail, I was so embarrassed, I kept praying an unusual miracle will occur and that part will be invisible.
#3: Always Check Your Spam
Spam (Junk) is considered to be electronic junk mail or junk newsgroup postings. A lot of us hardly even know we have spams in our mail. I was guilty of this too until an incident occurred. I sent an urgent request to a client once. And after waiting for so long without a response, I started calling the lady, I even got weary of waiting that I sent out a mail copying the whole who is who in Nigeria (pun intended), just so they know it was not my fault the work has not been attended to.
The lady was frustrated as well, she had to get a neutral account so she can send me the mail. Imagine my horror when I was checking my emails days later, and came across my Junks and found the mail sitting pretty there. I felt really bad and I had to call her and also send an apology sms. Not all mails that go to your spam/junk are actually junks. Some do because of the privacy and settings of the sender or recipient account. So always take time to check these at the end of every day.
#4: Never Forget to Send a “Thank You”
I learnt this one from my boss. No matter how minute the request is, as soon as he receives, he would always email back to either acknowledge (refer to #1) or send a thank you. This goes a long way to show you are polite and appreciative. It also shows humility. You don’t want to start hearing the number of years of experience between us, or is it the long distance sitting between us on the organogram, this is just an attitude he must have become accustomed to.
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#5: Always Add Your Signature
You can easily add this from your settings. It automatically add up in every mail you are sending. It is important that the recipient get you name and full contact after reading your mail. They may need to deliver something to your address or call you. It is very important you do this. For bloggers, always add all you social media handles and blog url.
#6: Take a Break If You Are Angry
Never send an angry email, or give a quick, flip response. Give your message some thoughtful consideration before sending it. If you feel angry, put your message into the “drafts” folder, and review it again later when you are calmer and have time to formulate an appropriate response.
#7: Always Proofread Your Email Before Sending
There’s nothing wrong with being extra careful before sending an email. While chatting, you can easily correct yourself but it doesn’t work like that with emails. Once you hit the send button, you have already been judged as an uneducated, careless fellow. Don’t rely on spell-check. Read and reread your email a few times, preferably aloud, before sending it off. Correct any grammatical blunder or typo and make sure there is no abbreviation, before you finally send. You do not want to make a first wrong impression as an uncoordinated, disorganized, scattered business person.
#8: Add the Email Address Last
Have you ever tried sending a message to someone and it went to a similar name but the wrong person before? You would not love yourself if this happen to you when sending a mail. For me, I always add the email address last. That way, I can be sure I will not mistakenly hit the send button when I have not double my content and proof reading as well. Pachter says, “Even when you are replying to a message, it’s a good precaution to delete the recipient’s address and insert it only when you are sure the message is ready to be sent.”
Which other tip would you love to add? Which of these are you guilty of? Kindly join the discussion. And always remember to keep emails as professional as possible, the forward button is just a tap away.
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