With many people working from home due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), clear communication has never been more important. And since email is the no. 1 method of communication among business professionals, refreshing your memory about best email practices can ensure your company’s workflow continues without a hitch.
Take a closer look before sending
This can’t be stressed enough…re-read your email before you send it. Make sure it’s going to the right person/people. Check for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Grammarly is an excellent tool for this. When downloaded, it integrates across multiple platforms (even texting apps) to ensure your spelling and grammar are correct. It’ll even suggest a better way of saying something.
Let people know their email has been received
Nothing is more frustrating then not knowing if an email has been received. Especially since emails get stuck in outboxes and sent to spam folders so often. The courteous thing to do is to confirm receipt of an email so your coworker or boss doesn’t have to wonder if you received their email or send another email asking you to confirm receipt.
Be careful using all caps (or just avoid it)
While it’s generally best practice to avoid using all caps, it can be useful for adding emphasis. But using all caps too frequently makes your email look tacky, illegible, and hostile. There are better ways to get your point across without using.
Don’t always reply all
No one wants to have their inbox bombarded with emails from a never-ending message chain. If your response to an email doesn’t require the attention of everyone cc’d…don’t Reply All. Depending on the message, this can be embarrassing and/or damaging to your reputation, your co-worker’s reputation or the company’s.
Write clear subject lines
People get tons of emails daily. Without a clearly written subject line, yours is bound to get lost in the crowd. The best subject lines are clear and concise. If it’s of high importance, flag it as such.
Explain why you CC’d or Forward that email
It’s not always obvious whose been cc’d on an email. Out of courtesy, give the recipient a heads up so that sensitive information isn’t leaked to the wrong person. When forwarding, be sure to explain what it is you’re forwarding…don’t just leave the body of the email blank. This is rude and lazy and forces the recipient to have to scroll down to figure out what the email is about. Something as simple as “Here’s the document you requested regarding X, Y, and Z.” would suffice.
Clear email communication is going to be vital to the stability of your business while social distancing protocols are in place. Responding to an email promptly is important but don’t sacrifice quality for speed. Take the time to make sure you’re following good email practices.
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