10 Email Best Practices. Number is 7 is Critical.
One of the things that creates inefficiencies at the workplace is email. So many people don’t understand there are best practices to sending emails. Yes, there are.
Stop sending those emails that have ambiguous subject lines. Ones that you have to read pages of forwarded messages to figure out what the sender wants you to know. Or people that respond but don’t really answer the question. And then there’s the email that shouldn’t be sent at all. I mean, sometimes you’ve got to know when to pick up the telephone.
Here are the top 10 email best practices to improve office communication:
1. Use the SUBJECT line to indicate if the recipient needs to take action or if the email provides information. For example, if you want your manager’s approval prior to taking action on an issue, you might write a subject line of: “Please Approve Request for XXXXXX.”
2. Double check emails before hitting send, including a spell check. How you communicate speaks volumes about your work habits.
3. If you receive an email sent to a large corporate distribution list, never reply to all.
4. Keep people’s email addresses private. When sending a message to a large distribution of people who do not know one another, put your own email address in the TO field. Then populate the BCC field with the recipient’s email addresses. This prevents you from exposing other people’s email addresses.
5. When forwarding an email, write a comment or explanation to explain why you’re forwarding the message to them. And check to see if the SUBJECT line needs to be modified for your receipient. (See number 1.)
6. Make sure your email content is clear and to the point. Watch your tone and choice of words. Remember, someone may forward your message.
7. Never try to joke in a business email. They are rarely received well, and usually make you sound like a cornball.
8. Don’t write in all CAPS. The one exception that doesn’t seem offensive is if you’re responding to a list of questions and you want to make sure your responses are easy to discern. Or if you want to virtually shout at someone.
9. Ask yourself whether an email is really necessary. Sometimes it’s better to communicate with someone in person, if they are in the same location, or via the telephone if not. Many issues are easier to resolve when your can speak rather than write. A lot of communication happens in your body language and voice tone that is missed in an email.
10. It is perfectly OK to email a ‘thank you’ message. Think of a coworker you should thank and send them an email today.
Implementing these email best practices can help to create more effective office communication. It also improves teamwork and make the office run more productively because staff wastes less time. It also makes for a kinder work environment.
Can you think of other email best practices? Please share in the comments.