Sunday, December 6, 2015
Top 10 Business Email Tips
With emails taking over from letters, here is our collection of the top business email tips to ensure the effectiveness of all your business communications.
1. Use a pertinent subject line
A subject line makes it easier for your readers to understand what your email pertains to. With a person receiving hundreds of emails in a day, the only way to capture his/her attention (and reduce the chances of your email getting lost in the maze) is through a well crafted subject line.
Consider the following example as an indicator of situations where you should pay special attention to your subject line.
“You intend to approach an existing customer of yours with the request for repeat business. You simply open an earlier string of communication you've had with the concerned customer, click on ‘reply’ button, type in your message and hit the send button.
What you fail to realize, is that the current message will also be delivered with the previous subject line – which might have said ‘Your Order Has Been Shipped’. The customer knowing that he has placed no such order might choose to ignore the email.
It is therefore important to ensure that the subject line pertains to the matter being communicated through the email.
2. Shun the CAPS LOCK
NEVER TYPE IN YOUR EMAIL WITH YOUR CAPS LOCK ON. Most people perceive this as the equivalent of shouting in a verbal communication. Even the subject line should be in the lower case. You may however use upper case to EMPHASIZE certain words.
3. Bcc is better than To
When sending the same email to multiple recipients, people often tend to put all the email addresses in the To: field. However there are two major disadvantages to this practice:
A. The recipient comes to know that the same message has been sent to a large number of recipients.
B. More importantly he/she can view all the other email addresses. Note that this might lead to some serious privacy issues as you are publicizing user email addresses without their permission.
Therefore the right way of doing this is to place all the email addresses in the Bcc field. This way no one gets to know that the message might have been sent to other recipients as well.
4. Use an active voice instead of passive
Use of an active voice gives your message a more personal touch. For instance, “We are looking into this matter” sounds far better than “The matter is being looked into”
5. Emails should be short and precise
In today’s fast paced world no one has the time to go through pages of unnecessary text. Therefore it is important to keep your messages short and precise. Break your text into a number of paragraphs and pay special attention to the proper use of grammar and punctuation.
6. Swift response is the need of the hour
All customer queries call for a quick response – you do not want to keep a customer waiting for too long. A customer email should be responded to; within the same day or the next. In case a customer query will take some time to get resolved, make it a point to inform the customer of the situation.
7. Abbreviation overuse
Overuse or the use of inappropriate abbreviations, undermines the value of your content. The use of abbreviations like BTW (by the way) or IMO (In My Opinion) is unacceptable when it comes to business emails.
8. Use Templates
Use pre-formatted templates for frequently used content or responses. This reduces response time and increases efficiency.
9. Review before hitting the send button
Review all official emails for any inadvertent errors and omissions before hitting the send button.
10. Use terms like ‘Urgent’ ‘Important’ sparingly
Avoid using terms like urgent or important etc unless the email is really urgent or important.
Thanks for your time. Happy emailing.