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Writing effective emails

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Learn how to write professional emails.

Learn how to write professional emails.

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    Writing effective emails Writing effective emails Presentation Transcript

    • By Team Approachjob, Bangalore
    • “ 9 common e-mail habits that waste time and cause problems”
      • Vague or nonexistent subject line.
      • Changing the topic without changing the subject.
      • Including multiple subjects in one note.
      • Sending before thinking.
    • 9 habits contd.
      • Inadvertent replying to all.
      • Omitting the context of a reply.
      • Misaddressed recipients.
      • Displaying addresses of recipients who are strangers to each other.
      • Replying vs. forwarding.
    • Agenda
      • Addressing
      • Subject Line
      • Message Text
      • Signature Line
      • Attachments
      • Style
      • Confidentiality and Security
      • Managing Email
      • References
      • Discussion
    • Addressing
      • Limit to who really needs to know.
      • Make it clear in text who has action and who is info addressee.
      • Use BCC to protect Email addresses unless everyone knows each other.
      • Watch Reply All.
    • Addressing (contd.)
      • Use address book with mail groups & validate often.
        • Avoid typing addresses free hand; many addresses are similar; watch auto fill.
        • Send same message to multiple recipients by editing message as new or cutting and pasting.
    • Addressing (contd.)
      • Make sure forward does not embarrass sender.
        • Get permission if in doubt.
        • Never “diss” sender in forward or reply.
      • Fill in addresses last to avoid sending an incomplete Email by mistake.
    • Subject Line
      • Headline (think newspaper).
      • Grab Attention.
      • Summarize message.
    • Rate These Subject Lines
      • Subject: Important! Read Immediately!!
      • Subject: Meeting
      • Subject: Follow-up About Meeting
      • Subject: Announcement
      • Subject: Do we need a larger room for Social meeting on May 14?
    • Message Text
      • Keep the message focused and readable.
      • Keep it short.
      • Use inverted pyramid (newspaper).
      • Break into paragraphs; skip lines between.
      • Use short sentences and active voice.
      • Use plain text editor, not MS Word.
      • Avoid HTML.
      • Avoid fancy typefaces.
    • Message Text (contd.)
      • Write in standard professional English with Capitalization and correct spelling.
        • Don’t try to impress.
        • Avoid chat speak, e.g., CUL8R & emoticons,  .
      • Don’t type in All Caps – like yelling.
      • Avoid using URGENT and IMPORTANT.
      • Use * * to highlight text if you must.
      • Proofread & spell check.
    • Message Text (contd.)
      • Quote back selectively when replying to long messages.
        • “ Yes, I agree.” is useless without context.
        • Top quote vs. bottom quote – no consensus.
        • Avoid “Fisking,” replying line by line in an argumentative manner.
      • For URL links use SNIPURL to shorten long URLs or enclose in < >.
        • Free service http://snipurl.com/
    • Message Text (contd.)
      • Identify yourself clearly to cold contacts.
        • Hello, I am…The reason I am writing…
        • Hello, so-in-so suggested I contact you…
      • Respond Promptly.
        • Apologize if you don’t.
        • Interim reply when too busy.
      • Don’t shoot the messenger.
    • Attachments
      • Use sparingly.
      • Cut and paste relevant parts of attachment into text of Email.
      • Use URL links instead.
        • Upload attachments to website and cite URL.
      • Recipients who do not know you may be reluctant to open attachments or click URLs.
    • Attachments (contd.)
      • Post attachment first to avoid “Oops, here’s the attachment.”
      • Trend is posting large attachments into blogs followed by Email announcement.
        • Gives people a chance to comment on attachment without a series of “Reply All” messages.
        • Those interested can check comments or use RSS feed to be notified.
    • Signature Line
      • Include (if you want people to contact you)
        • Your name
        • Title
        • Organization
        • Email address (especially on listservs)
        • Website
        • Phones
      • Can be shortened for frequent correspondents or placed in header of Email stationery.
    • Signature Line (contd.)
      • If you must include a quote in signature keep it short.
      • “ This message is intended for…”
        • Clutters up Email.
        • Often longer than message.
        • Omit unless your company requires it.
      • Avoid vCards because some readers treat them as attachments.
    • Style
      • Threads
        • Multiple replies can get out of hand, but continue them to maintain the tread.
        • When they start to drift start a new thread with explanation.
      • Be true to venue.
        • Formal vs. informal
      • Don’t Flame
        • More common in chats and blogs, but still wrong.
    • Style (contd.)
      • Forwarding stuff, e.g., chain letters
        • Avoid; annoys most people.
        • Check address list before forwarding a ”Did you see this?” - They may have received it.
        • If you must forward, strip out addresses and use BCC to hide your address list.
    • Style (contd.)
      • Do not overuse high priority option.
      • Avoid delivery and read receipts.
      • Do not ask to recall a message.
        • Just apologize and correct.
      • Do not copy a message or attachment without permission.
      • Do not scoop someone else’s message.
    • Style (contd.)
      • Chill out!
        • Avoid sending a snarky reply to a pissy Email.
        • Wait 24 hours.
        • Write, but don’t send.
        • Don’t reply at all and let them wonder.
        • Offer to speak by phone or in person; Email is not a good tool for “clearing the air.”
    • Style (contd.)
      • Chill out (contd.)
        • Leave no record of sensitive or emotional responses.
        • Never say in Email what you wouldn’t say in person or would not like to see in the press or defend in court.
        • Once you hit “Send” you have lost control of the Email.
          • You can never be certain that it was erased from all locations. Think of all Email as Permanent.
    • Confidentiality and Security
      • Don’t assume privacy.
        • Unencrypted Email is not secure and may be monitored.
        • Don’t include in an unencrypted Email anything you would not want a third party to read.
        • Details of encrypting and digitally signing Email is beyond the scope of this presentation.
    • Confidentiality and Security (contd.)
      • Protecting yourself
        • Have a separate free Email account for newsletters, white paper registration, etc.
        • Delete browser history, cache, cookies, userids and passwords after using a public Internet connection.
        • Logout and close all Apps after using a public Internet connection. (Restart if possible.)
        • Don’t conduct company business on non-secure personal computer.
        • Back up your Email.
    • Confidentiality and Security (contd.)
      • Protecting yourself (contd.)
        • Beware of spam.
          • If it sounds too good, it is.
          • Report it.
        • Beware of Phishing attacks.
          • Forward them to customer service.
        • Never include personal or financial info in an Email.
        • Don’t unsubscribe from anything you did not subscribe to.
        • Beware of friend’s Emails.
    • Confidentiality and Security (contd.)
      • Protecting yourself (contd.)
        • Install a good security suite on your personal computer.
          • Many ISPs, e.g., COMCAST, provide them free.
        • Never share account info, even with family.
        • Use strong passwords.
          • Encrypt them on a password protected thumb drive.
        • Encrypt wireless connections.
        • Use encryption and digital signatures for important Email.
    • Managing Email
      • Organize Email into folders.
        • Use company file plan for in-house Email.
      • Keep a copy of all sent Email.
      • Review and clean out folders periodically.
        • Good for rainy day or slow day at work.
        • Comply with company retention schedule.
      • Don’t print Email unless you need to refer to it remotely.
    • Managing Email (contd.)
      • Declare Email bankruptcy
        • Inbox clogged with overdue responses.
        • Send Email to all correspondents apologizing for not replying and asking them to resend important Email.
        • Delete all old messages in Inbox.
        • Then check your inboxes daily.
    • Managing Email (contd.)
      • Use separate Email channels for separate communities:
        • Professional
        • Business
        • In-house
        • Family and friends
        • Hobbies and interests
        • Listservs
        • Use “out of office” agent when away.
    • Discussion
      • Questions and Comments?