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E-mail Etiquette: Courteous Or Conundrum

by / Wednesday, 30 November 2016 / Published in News

In the information age, we are challenged with a variety of communication methods. E-mail, phone and in-person meetings are all a part of our high-touch interactions with clients and vendors. Here are a few basics for proper e-mail etiquette to help you avoid a communication conundrum.

What’s the subject?
The headline of your message will often dictate the response time. Keep in mind, we all receive a heap of messages each day. If something is urgent or if it can wait a few days indicate the timeline for the next step. The subject field should always accurately reflect the content of the e-mail message.

E-mail tone. There really is no clear tone preset when someone reads a message. Honestly, we are all human and often our current mindset will govern how we perceive an e-mail. Make sure your e-mails include a courteous greeting and closing to help lighten the tone. This will keep your message from being received as demanding.

Formalities are fantastic. Show the recipient a little respect by addressing them with the appropriate level of formality. Make sure you spell their name correctly and use proper sentence structure. Capitalize the appropriate words and pay close attention to punctuation. Too many exclamation points can convey a sense of anger and frustration!!!

Dial in the details. The whole point of your e-mail message is to convey details and prompt a response. Take time to include all the relevant details or information necessary for the recipient to see your point of view and make a well informed decision. Sometimes generalities can be confusing and spur a long chain of unnecessary back and forth messages that eat up time.

Keep your emotions in check. While you may be emotionally charged about a specific topic, we strongly advise you to walk away for a few moments and refill your coffee before you hit send. Sometimes waiting to reply instead of rapid firing a response will help you wrangle your emotions and put together a more constructive message. Remember, anything you put in an e-mail message will be saved, may be shared, and could ultimately be received in an unintentional way.

A little gratitude goes a long way. Don’t hesitate to say, thank you or I appreciate your help. These simple pleasantries are often overlooked, but are always well received. It’s the whip cream on your pumpkin pie communication.

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