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Who doesn’t send email?

In business, email is used to ask questions, answer questions, follow-up, initiate a topic, plan a meeting, remind someone of a task…and more.  The tough part is knowing if your email reached its desired recipient, if it was the correct medium and most importantly if it was well-written.  That’s a long list but one worthy of considering so here goes…

Did your email actually reach its desired recipient? 

It’s always risky to assume that because you sent your email, the intended party received it.  You need to check that you have an updated email address and that you correctly keypunched the individual’s information.  Additionally, if you don’t receive a timely response, it’s possible that your email landed in a spam/junk file due to issues related to a firewall.  If that occurs, you need to be added to a safe sender list.

Is your email the correct medium? 

While convenient, emails are not optimal for every situation.  For example, if you require an immediate or time-sensitive response, realize you have no control over an email.  Another issue is that emails are not intended for ongoing dialogue.  Therefore, if you notice this is the case it’s time to explore alternatives. Finally, please avoid sending emails to deliver bad news. It’s often beneficial to pick up the phone, schedule a virtual meeting, or plan an in-person dialogue in these situations.

Is your email well-written? 

Some guidelines to consider include the following:

1. Give careful thought to your subject line.  This will assist your open-rate and will help the reader locate your email if necessary.

2. Keep your email brief by using a format such as bullets or numbers. Limit your content to one topic vs. various topics.  Relevancy is essential.

3. Another point is that you want to proofread any email you write vs. sending it out in a hurry.  I recommend reading it out loud so you can more easily hear and see errors and then correct them.

4. As you write your email, be mindful of using excessive exclamation remarks.  Additionally, refrain from using emojis when trying to be professional.

5. Finally, remember that any email sent can be recovered and may have legal ramifications. Be cautious not to accuse someone of a wrongdoing or to include derogatory remarks.

Each of these five guidelines is beneficial to consider the next time you send a business email. As always, I’m happy to assist you and can be reached by phone (518-664-6004) or email dale@profitablespeech.com