The advent of internet technology has been very dramatically beneficial in the communication aspect of business and personal life. People around the world are able to get in touch with each other through email and this has been by far very convenient for almost everyone to use in meaningful ways. Email is considered one of the most common and most important means of communication in a company. More than fifty percent of messages within and outside of the business are relayed through email.
We may have been used to composing emails casually just like the way we write letters before this modern means came to be. But we should know that even in this form of communication, email etiquette exists. Proper email etiquette is best observed in a corporate setting. It is important that working individuals understand and observe general guidelines and standards in emailing since there are concerns of privacy, security, and confidentiality in email communication.
How to Write Effective Emails
One way of projecting a professional image in the workplace is through the manner of corresponding through email. A person must be able to communicate what is intended with proper decorum. So, learning the tips to write an effective email correspondence is necessary.
Subject line in an email is as important as that of a headline in a newspaper. The title should be meaningful and descriptive, giving the recipient a general idea of what the email contains. It should be brief, consisting only of key words instead of a complete sentence.
Greetings in email are a bit informal. The use of first names works fine, unless if you do not know the person you are emailing. Greetings such as ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ do not make sense since the recipient may read your email at anytime of the day. A businesslike email must have a signature consisting of the sender’s name, company name, and at least 2 contact details.
Know the right tone for your correspondent. When the recipient expects a more formal approach, write accordingly. Also, do not lose control of your emotions in your email by using inappropriate language.
Keep your email composition short and concise. You can outline your main thoughts instead of writing a lengthy paragraph. Do not utilize too much of the “white space”. State the most relevant information as briefly as you can but not too direct that your reader will not comprehend what you want to say.
It is not proper etiquette to write in all caps or in small letters. Writing in all capital letters appears like you are yelling at your reader. On the other hand, writing in all small letters does not only make it difficult for the person to read your email but also messes up your grammar usage.
Email Privacy and Security
Email correspondence in the office is not strictly confidential and private especially if you use Outlook. IT Department accesses and retrieves messages anytime for monitoring purposes. Because of this, you might want to be more careful in writing your email, and to whom you are sending it to, and proofread it before hitting the ‘Send’ button. Be careful as well in the use of “Reply All”, Cc and Bcc. Many office conflicts are started because of recklessness in email correspondence. Email messages are documented unlike verbal communication. So if you did something unprofessional and ridiculous in an email, it may be held against you.
Advantages of Email Correspondence
Since emailing has become a widely used method of interacting with colleagues at work and even with customers, paper-based communication and even person-to-person approaches are getting lost in the picture. There are many advantages of email correspondence compared to paper-based media. Emailing is more like engaging in a conversation with another person in an organization because the turnaround time for replies is fast. It allows both sender and recipient to clear out clarifications and ask questions to each other.
With emailing, you cannot manifest and convey your emotions because it is not proper to do so. Moreover, there is no way you can show through voice and physical gestures your emotions toward the other person except through the use of words. But then again, losing oneself in an email is reflective of an unprofessional attitude. Even the use of sarcasm is dangerous and not recommended.