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10 Email Communication Tips- Please Reply

Email communication has become an increasingly important form of communication in business today. How many emails are in your inbox? Not the spam or marketing emails, but emails from actual human beings that need to be responded to?

As I was taking a look through my inbox a few weeks ago I realized that I had gotten a bit behind in replying to emails, even if they just needed a quick ‘thank you’ or ‘we are working on it and will let you know as soon as it is done’ response. I spent about 30 minutes doing nothing but replying to email after email and since it was after business hours, I decided to use the Boomerang feature in my Gmail account to send the messages at 8:15am the next morning (check it out if you have Gmail!).

Then I looked in my outbox and realized how many emails I had sent in the past few weeks that have gotten no response, even when one was specifically requested. It left me a bit discouraged and I spent nearly the next two hours drafting follow up emails to all of those I was waiting a response from.

In today’s business world it seems that we prefer sending an email over actually picking up the phone and talking to one another. I am not against email, it is an amazing form of communication that allows us to be more efficient and also gives us the opportunity to have record of our communication. However, it can quickly become an overwhelming ‘To Do’ item if you don’t stay on top of your growing inbox each day.

One thing that I have been trying to do since my discouraging email day is to carve out some time where I turn off my phone and really focus on my email box. Responding to all of the emails that have come in and following up on those I recently sent. My personal preference is to do this outside of business hours or during the lunch hour when things are naturally more quiet and there are less distractions.

I am finding that I am much more efficient in my responses and follow up when I take the time to focus instead of jumping between projects, emails and phone calls!

10 Email Tips for Effective Communication:

1. If you are sending a complex message that goes on and on, consider picking up the phone and calling the person instead. Emails should generally be kept to 5 sentences or less.

2. Have a signature line that includes all of your contact information. Many people look up emails on their phone to quickly get your contact info,

3. Make it a goal to have a 24 – 48-hour response time on all emails. Even if it is just a quick message, let the other person know that you received their email and will get back to them by a certain date.

4. Include a relevant subject line that professionally written – your subject line is what people use to determine if they will open the email or not.

5. Always avoid all capital letters, both in a subject line and in the body of your email. All caps can make the person receiving the message feel as though you are yelling at them.

6. Only ‘Reply All’ when everyone copied on the email needs to see your response. Use this function carefully as it will quickly fill up people’s inboxes and if the message isn’t relevant to them it can be very frustrating.

7. Use BCC when you are sending an email to a large group of people and don’t want anyone to reply to the entire group. This function allows the recipients to only reply to you.

8. Read your email out loud before you send it to hear the tone of your email and judge if it is too casual or formal for the situation at hand.

9. If you receive an email with a negative tone, it is best to call the other person and talk through your response instead of sending an email full of emotion. This way you can avoid sending a message that will be misconstrued.

10. Hit send within business hours whenever possible or schedule your emails to go out between 8am and 5pm. This will help you set boundaries with those you email and not leave people wondering if all you do is work.

Happy Emailing!


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