October 14, 2011

Email Etiquettes & Email Manners

Email Etiquettes 

Here are some points that will definitely help. 

1) The font of mail should be Verdana and font size should be 9.5 or 10.

2) The mail should have a Pyramid Structure i.e. it should contain:

Situation: What's the current situation is
Action items: What you expect from the reader of the mail to-do
Information: The information you want to give to the reader
Conclusion: Conclude with a Thank You.

3) For writing use only Black or Blue color. For highlighting purpose make the word bold. Avoid using Red color as Red signifies danger, so use it when urgent.

4) For greetings in mail:

For Americans: use Hi
For Europeans: use Hello
For Asians: use Dear

To be more formal we could use Dear Mr. /Ms. followed by Last name or Full name. We should not use Dear Mr. /Ms. followed by First name alone.

5) We should not put '/' in greetings like Hi X/Y. Instead we should say Hi X and Y.

6) We should not use 'Thanks and Regards'. Instead we should say:

Thank you

7) For requesting something we should not use Can, instead we should use Could.

8) We should not write 'Please find the attached file' because the reader does not have to find or search for the file in the mail it's already there. So instead we should write 

     'The file has been attached for your reference'.

 9) We should not use sentences like 'As per your mail' because 'per' is used only with units like per Kg etc. Instead we should write 'According to your mail'.

10) We should use parallel structure. Parallelism enables readers to read documents more efficiently. For e.g. the analysis will include planning, organizing, dividing and assessment (Instead assessment we should write Assessing) of turnaround functions.

11) In our mails we often write 'Please revert back'. Instead we should only write 'Please revert'.

12) For the Signature in mail, if we are sending to people in our company only then we should not write our company name in the signature because they already know that we are part of the same company but if we are sending mail to an external party like client etc then we should write our company name in the signature because there we have to brand our company name in front of others.


Email Manners

Here are some simple yet effective tips for using email more efficiently:

1) If you are sending an email to multiple people, put their email addresses in the BCC field and your own email address in the To: field. No one likes to share their private email address with strangers.

2) Do not attach large attachments in your email since not everyone is on a broadband connection. If you have to send a large file over email, upload it to services like “Yousendit” and then pass on the link in the email.

3) If you have to email more than two documents as attachments, zip them in one file. Doing so would ensure that your friend won't miss downloading any file.

4) Do not write an email while you are in a really bad mood. It would reflect on the style of your writing.

5) Always reply to emails especially the ones specifically addressed to you. The sender is still waiting to hear from you.

6) Keep you email message short and to the point. Sentences like "I hope this email finds you alive and well" look good only in letter correspondence.

Subject or title of the email is mandatory. The subject should clearly indicate the purpose of the email. Use 50-60 characters for the subject. Senior executives and busy business men see the subject first and accordingly decide to open the email. For example, ‘Marketing Analytics Application Migration Plan’ is a better subject than ‘Plan’

8) Sometimes people use BCC option to let someone else know without the recipient’s knowledge that you are writing this specific email. Recommend not to do this. One reason being the BCC’ed person can actually reply to the email, while the initial recipient was not aware of this. This will create problems in relationships. I prefer sending the email to the recipient and then forwarding to whomever I want to let know about this, with a FYI (for your information) note.

9) Avoid chat language like Neways, b4, kewl, tc, etc. in business emails. Do not use sentences like I dunno wat 2 do, 2Ht2Hndl (Too hot to handle).

10) If you are using any abbreviations, make sure that the recipient also understands the same. For example, ASAP (as early as possible) may be a commonly used and understood abbreviation, but AWOD (AWay On Duty) is not used across organizations. Sometimes, the same abbreviation has conflicting meanings! For example, one of my friends sent me a reply, WC. I thought that she mentioned Will Check, but actually it was Who Cares!

11) Regards, Thanks and Thanks & Regards are the commonly used for closing of professional emails. Best Regards and Warm Regards are also used.

12) Do not use CAPITALS. Capital letters in emails indicate shouting at someone! Use initial capital for the subject.

13) Do not over-use jargons to show your knowledge!

14) Use active sentences instead of passive.

15) Do not use fancy fonts in professional emails! Some fancy fonts are difficult to read or print. Also, the recipient need not have the same fancy font you sued for composing the email. Some of the standard fonts for business communication are Arial, Verdana, Book Antiqua, Tahoma and Courier New. Use only one font in an email. It is ok to use a different but blending font for signatures.

16) Do not hit the Send button without doing a spell check. Emails with spelling mistakes or grammatical errors indicate that you have written the message in a non-serious mood and may convey a bad impression. Always read the message before broadcasting it to the world.

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