Aug 30, 2008

Best practices for email in the workplace

What may be appropriate when emailing family and friends may not be appropriate when emailing co-workers, clients or providers.

You may think that the appearance of an email has any impact, when in fact it can affect the efficiency of your message.

These are some best practices to ensure the look of your emails do not negatively influence their effectiveness, and to ensure you are getting the right message across:

1. Your name and your recipient name must be visible. It is the first step in order to receives attention and trust.

2. Use a subject line that gives the recipient an idea about the content. Otherwise, it may be ignored or end up in a spam folder. The subject line is a key to differentiate your email.

3. Start your email with a greeting. A proper greeting sets the tone for your message. Messages lacking a greeting may come off as rude. A simple greeting such as Dear, Good afternoon, or Hi is appropriate.

4. Include the recipient name in the greeting. Is the key to get his attention on the message.

5. Include the most important information at the beginning of the message to get your recipients attention. And keep your emails to the point.

6. Avoid using slang terms. Slang may be appropriate for emails outside of the workplace. Your recipient may not understand slang terms. They could be even offensive.

7. Follow good manners. If you are requesting something from your recipient, include "please" and "thank you".

8. Use proper grammar and spelling. Bad grammar and spelling may create the impression that you, the sender, are careless, sloppy, and do not pay attention to details.

9. Avoid typing in all uppercase letters. Typing in all UPPERCASE is the equivalent of yelling. Instead, stick with the basic rule of basic sentence casing.

10. End your email with a closing. Just including your name may come off as being abrupt. Try including a simple closing such as "Regards", "Sincerely", or "Thank you".

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