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Guide for better e-mail communication

Posted: September 18th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Miscellaneous | 3 Comments »

email cartoonE-mails are very important part of our daily communication. Communication through e-mail is a lot different than voice communication. You might be a very good communicator over phone, however, e-mails are a different genre. E-mail can express your emotions in exactly the same way as phone if written properly. so, It’s one of the most essential skills in corporate world.

I am sharing few points which I have learned in e-mail communication so far.

Take your time to compose e-mail, don’t write in a hurry.
Do a spell check.
Know when to use ‘Reply-all’ and when absolutely not.
Avoid using fancy fonts; stick with basic fonts like Arial/Calibri.
If you are checking your emails after few days then first read all emails and then reply to the e-mail which requires a reply. Do not reply as you read because you might have receive further e-mail for the same communication or someone from the CC list might already have replied.
Read and re-read before replying an e-mail. Have you answered all underlying questions/concerns raised by the sender?
If an attachment is to be sent then compose your email after adding the attachment, followed by adding recipients.
Do not forget the attachment (use attachment reminder script in Outlook or download this software) In Gmail, activate the attachment reminder.
Do a spell check.
Do not reply an email when you are angry. ( Instead do this: compose the email, save it but don’t send it. Read that email again after a while and chances are you will change the e-mail completely or do not send that at all :-).)
Avoid using ‘but’, it’s somewhat negative, instead use ‘however’
Do not use fancy signature with animated images, it distracts and annoys the reader. ( and won’t animate in Outlook 2007 :-) )
Turn the automatic spell check on.
Be precise and to the point, help your e-mail recipient save time.
Ask yourself a question, how much would it take for me to answer this email? less than 2 mins? Reply now.
Do a spell check and grammar check.
Do not use authoritative language in your e-mails even if you are writing to your subordinate. Nobody likes to receive orders. Would you like if you receive such an email? Re-read your email after composing and sense the tone of your e-mail?
Don’t forget the out-of-office Auto reply when you are not reading your e-mails.
Always mention the alternate person who should be contacted in your absence if there is any.
‘Please see the attachment’ is a better phrase then ‘Please finds the attachment’ (if your attachment is not a treasure? :-)).
Do not forget/misspell recipients’ Name. It might turn him/her off.
Avoid using CAPS and bold.
Know when to use Hello/Hi/Dear.
Received an email from an irated customer/client? Empathize him/her in your reply first and then explain your situation.
If you are sending a screen-shot in e-mail then make sure you saved the image as JPG and not BMP in Paint. Sending a BMP image would unnecessarily make your e-mail heavy.
Do not forward those useless e-mails for your pleasure, and block office bandwidth :-).
Be a responsible e-mail forwarder, verify the authenticity of an e-mail forward before being a victim of these forwards.
Have an e-mail signature which has all your required contact information.
In personal e-mails, make an email signature which has links to your website, blog, social networking profile like Orkut/Twitter.
Do a spell check.
Read your email one last time before hitting the send button.

These are few points which I believe would help you in better email communication. What do you practice in your email communication? Do you have any tip? Please do share.

3 Comments on “Guide for better e-mail communication”

  1. 1 Sonal said at 3:17 pm on September 18th, 2009:

    These are very small things but really usefull in day to day communication. Thanks for sharing

  2. 2 Varun said at 5:12 pm on September 19th, 2009:

    Another good one, keep it up dude :)

  3. 3 Rahmi said at 11:13 pm on September 20th, 2009:

    Nice one and to add-on never write an email in the capital Letters (Caps On) ,it seems that sender is SHOUTING! on you though its a polite one :)

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