Aug

03

Emails are an important part of communication with all private and business partners. We should therefore also be careful in writing emails. This is especially true when you consider that most corporate mails are never really deleted and remain on corporate servers and data-center backups for many years. It therefore makes sense to consider a few basic rules with regards to communication via email:

  • First ask yourself if a mail is really necessary. Emails are often misinterpreted and it might be more effective to deal with the matter via phone.
  • Be selective in the distribution list, especially with the selection of people on copy (cc). Do they really need this information or is the message important enough to include higher management?
  • If the message is a mailing including external parties you might consider to use the bcc function. This will not disclose the receivers email address to all other receivers and protect their privacy.
  • Activate the spellcheck in your mail application, so that it corrects whilst you are writing. This is more convenient than the check before sending.
  • NEVER, NEVER send an email when you are angry, most of the times you will regret sending it later. Instead you can write the mail and first save it in  drafts. It will make you feel better. Then you keep it in drafts over one night and review the mail the next morning. Usually you will rephrase major parts of it before finally sending it.
  • Be careful when using CAPITAL LETTERS since this indicates shouting.
  • ALWAYS open the attachment before sending the mail to make sure that this is really the document you wanted to send.
  • Be aware of the difference between “Reply” and “Reply to All”, so that you don’t create spam mail for many people.
  • Be careful when your mail application auto-completes the receiver. It quickly happens that you select the wrong person, which can have privacy or confidentiality issues.
  • Use the signature function with your contact details, so that people can quickly give you a call.
  • Send personal mail to the private address and not to the company address.
  • For sensitive contents you should use email encryption or at least protect the attachments with a password which you convey in a separate mail or a separate channel such as SMS over the mobile phone.
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3 Responses to “Tips about writing emails”

  1. [...] & Tuners News » News News Tips about writing emails2008-08-04 16:21:56Email check … other receivers and protect their privacy. Activate the receivers [...]

  2. [...] & Tuners News » News News Tips about writing emails2008-08-07 12:08:12Email check … other receivers and protect their privacy. Activate the receivers [...]

  3. Thanks for the post. I especially agree with your point about not using all capital letters. I used to work with a manager who not only used a lot of caps but would use colors to emphasize his point. It set my teeth on edge whenever I opened one up.

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