Emails Do’s and Don’ts
We all know how much time email eats into the working day. It can take up to 40% of your time and it’s often one of the most frequently discussed challenges people face.
While it’s difficult to entirely avoid email, here are few ideas to create a more professional and efficient email process that can be applied to both small and large businesses.
Is email the best and most appropriate means of communication? Sometimes it’s quicker and more effective to just pick up the phone.
Only send your email to the person who needs to read it. Don’t clog up someone’s inbox if it’s not relevant for them.
Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions. This will avoid additional emails being sent back and forth.
Do use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. This should apply to any form of communication. Spell check your emails before you hit send.
Do make it personal – address them by name, ”Dear Sir/Madam” is too formal for an email.
Don’t attach unnecessary files. Large files can clog up an email system – especially when they get sent to multiple addressees. Think about using Google Drive or Dropbox for sharing larger files or zip them up first.
Don’t write in CAPITALS – this is seen as shouting in the online world.
Don’t automatically attach previous conversations if they’re no longer relevant.
Do change the subject if the discussion has changed.
Don’t leave out the message thread – especially if it relates to what you’re discussing.
Do read through your email before you hit send – we all mistype and skip words occasionally. Set it to one side and come back to it later, you’re more likely to spot any obvious mistakes.
Don’t overuse Reply to All – does everyone really need to see your reply.
Don’t automatically request delivery and read receipts – these have their uses but may also be switched off by the recipient, so you won’t get them anyway.
Do avoid excessive use of the high priority option, URGENT and IMPORTANT (unless it is!)
Don’t use email for confidential or sensitive information.
Do avoid email ping-pong – pick up the phone instead.
Look out for more info and tips for a more effective and organised Inbox.