How Email Aware Are You?

In today’s fast paced business environment your staff must know how to craft emails that will get read; from the subject line all the way to the attachment. How email aware is your staff? Can they all answer these questions?

1- When is email NOT the best form of communication?

2- How do you determine who should (and should not) receive the information?

3- How do make an email readable and yet remain formal?

So what about you? What does the word email mean to you? Is it an informal and relaxed way to communicate in writing? An easy and speedy way to send messages? Intrusive and annoying? What else?

Approximately 300 billion emails are sent every day and while 80{87f0c958c74bd471c016e24ed0ca91171b02792da1fdb790bb16580321fb9170} of those are ‘spam’ it is also true that the average worker spends about 30{87f0c958c74bd471c016e24ed0ca91171b02792da1fdb790bb16580321fb9170} of his or her work time managing email. More surprisingly, studies show that 64{87f0c958c74bd471c016e24ed0ca91171b02792da1fdb790bb16580321fb9170} of people open an email based on the subject line and ignore email that seems unimportant or uninteresting. So how about your staff? Do they know how to write subject lines that get their emails read or even opened?

Writing good emails can be learned by just about anyone. I would urge you and your staff to treat each email as an individual, to first try and understand:

– Who should and who shouldn’t get the email.

– What to send and what not to send.

– When to use and when not to use.

– Why to use and why not to use.

– How to use and how not to use.

“It’s just an email.” Have you ever thought or said that?

If that is your attitude to email writing I guarantee that you will be taking care of multiple problems that a hastily email will create. Of course email is fast, easy and convenient and it’s these positive characteristics that can too easily lead to mistakes like:

– Mechanical errors

– Not reader-friendly

– Negative/offensive/inappropriate tone

– Sent to wrong people

Here are some very simple and yet powerful steps you and your staff can start taking today that will show immediate results.

1- Is email the best method of communication?

Determine what types of messages are best sent through email. If email is indeed the best channel then you should consider the next point.

2- Who should receive the information?

Who really needs or even wants the message? Are they the only ones receiving it? On the other hand does everyone who needs access to the information have access to it?

3- When should you send the email?

Time your information for when it will be the most useful. Forgetting or delaying sending an email because the original message was discovered in the email graveyard can have dire consequences.

4- What is the purpose of the email?

Are you sending the email for the right reasons? Does the reader know if you are sending it just to keep them in the loop or does some action need to be taken?

5- What is the best way to present your message?

After all of the above points are carefully considered then continue to analyze how to best present the information. The first step is to create a clear and complete subject line. A strong message then needs to follow, one that uses language that is familiar to the recipient and is easy to read.

One final important point, did you re-read the message? Or did you just press the ‘send’ button? Incorrect facts or numbers, too many grammatical errors or spelling mistakes and attachment that didn’t get attached will certainly send a message loudly and clearly. But it’s not the message you intended.

To present the right message about you and your company you must always be mindful of the characteristics of an effective email message.

Think:

  • Sent at the right time
  • To the right people
  • With a clearly stated purpose
  • Subject line
  • Friendly and appropriate
  • Free of errors
  • So the next time you send an important email make sure you answer all of the above questions carefully before sending the message.

    You have the key:

    PLAN → COMPOSE → REVISE

    If it sounds simple that’s because it is simple. Are you doing it? What about ALL of your staff?

     

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