Thursday, December 4, 2014

Make Email Communications Effective

Can you remember the last time you picked up the telephone and called a client or a colleague? If you're like most business owners, your communication is done via email or text. 

If you've ever received an email or a text and wondered if there was a "hidden meaning" because, let's face it, it is easy to have a misunderstanding via electronic means because you don't have voice inflection or tone or body language to help you decipher the conversation. 

How can you make certain your emails are delivering the message you want? Here
are my top tips: 

  1. Be clear. If your email requires a response or an action, make certain that is stated either in the subject line (“Response required” or “Action needed”) or at the end of the message itself (“Awaiting your response.”)
  2. "Say" what you mean. Make sure the subject conveys what the message is about. Let the recipient know whether it’s work related (“Information needed on the Jones account”) or personal (“Dinner party at my house Thursday). This makes it easily to search for when the need arises.
  3. Limit acronyms. Unless you are certain the recipient will have no doubt in his or her mind what it means, write the words out in full.
  4. Be brief. Consider how full your inbox is on a daily basis and with that in mind, make certain your emails are concise, but friendly in tone. Being concise doesn’t mean being abrupt, it just means you need to get quickly to the point. 
  5. Include all pertinent information. Include everything related to the topic. Don’t begin an email string because you forgot to request a different piece of information or clarification on your original message. 

Above all, be professional in your written correspondence. Even if you're texting, proper spelling and grammar are critical. Also, if you're texting be aware that auto correct can mangle a message. 

Take time today to pick up the telephone and call a client or a colleague -- connecting may be just what the client was looking for! 

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