The way you craft or respond to an email determines the effectiveness of your words. That drives the intended outcome and creates the influence you desire.
When replying to emails, consider these ten (11) suggestions:
- Organize your words and paragraphs to make it easy for readers to follow and understand.
- Reflect on the email content before replying. Your leadership effectiveness is reflected in your response.
- Don’t automatically hit “Reply All.” This should only be used when needed and with extreme caution. You should only use “Reply All” when everyone on the “TO” list requires your response. Most of the time, it is sufficient to only respond to the person who sent the email.
- Be Careful with the “Bcc.” The “Bcc:” option allows you to “blind carbon copy” someone on an email without any of the other recipients knowing. It can be useful in some cases when you wish to keep email addresses private.
- Avoid Cursing. Cursing in an email is just wrong. Don’t do it. Swearing in an email comes off as being ignorant or showing a lacking intelligence.
- Use proper grammar. Don’t write like you speak. Remember, emails are forwarded all the time.
- Respond Regardless. Everyone would deserve a response, even if the email were mistakenly sent to you. A simple, “I got your email,” or “I think this was addressed to me by mistake” will let the sender know you got the message.
- Be leery of tone. Each person interprets email tone differently. A well-written email can easily be interpreted as a negative with the use of various words. Many people use all caps. Doing this implies YOUR YELLING AT SOMEONE.
- Don’t Be Cute There is no room for cuteness or EMOJI’s, inappropriate pictures, etc.
- Include a professional signature. Include; your full name, title, work address and phone number. When using a quote or image, be careful that it does not offend.
- Read it, then reread it. Read and re-read your email. Make sure your grammar, spelling, and choice of words portray the intended tone and message.