In today’s biz world, emails play a dominant role in communication. Have you tried imagining your life without internet/emails? Though emails are such integral part of our day to day business, we wonder at times what protocol should be followed while writing business emails.
In written communication, we judge the writer’s intentions through his language vis -a vis the verbal communication where speaker’s tone, gestures and body language makes it easier to interpret the meaning of his/her statements. Hence it becomes imperative to follow email etiquette. Here are few tips to avoid blunders and write professional emails.
1. Recipients: It is important that your mail gets attention from the right person. Add the intended recipient’s email address in the To field, and the person who needs to be copied on the mail in CC field. Do not add a person’s name in CC field if you expect him to act on your email. Similarly if you want the email to reach a third person without the knowledge of intended recipient then add the email address in BCC field.
2. Order of Importance: Always add email address in descending order of importance. For e.g. if a mail is sent to your team members for allocating tasks, then first email address will be of the person with maximum tasks at hand.
3. Subject Line: Your subject line should convey the objective of the mail. Do not use words like Imp, please reply, help needed etc. Subject line should be crisp and should give the reader an idea of the content. Please understand that we receive high volumes of email everyday and it is the subject line that helps the viewer to determine whether to read the mail on priority or not.
4. Priority: Mark a mail high priority only and only if it needs immediate attention. We all receive a lot of forwarded emails, fun emails which are not related to work, please mark such mails on low priority.
5. Structure: Your mail should be drafted in a manner to give complete understanding of your objective. Email should contain 4 elements. These elements are:
a. Purpose: Explain the purpose of the mail in clear manner.
b. Action: Mention what is expected out of the recipient
c. Information: Provide all the information that recipient may need to complete the action
d. Conclusion: Always conclude your mail on positive note or by thanking the recipient.
6. Do not use capital/ block letters as they suggest that the sender is shouting!!!
7. Use blue or black colors for writing your emails. If you need to highlight a point you can use ‘bold’. Refrain from using red color in your emails as it suggests danger.
8. Do not use reply all if you need to reply to an individual.
9. Never write an email in anger/frustration. It will reflect poorly on your image. Always think through before you write an email.
10. Avoid abbreviations and emoticons in business emails. Words like BTW, LOL are strict no- no.
11. Read Receipts: Never ask for read receipts from your recipients. It is simply annoying.
Ensure that you follow these easy tips and enhance your professional communication.