‘If you have access to your boss’s e-mail account I would suggest you regularly read the e-mails, even if they deal with them themselves. It is always useful to be well informed and to have a broad picture of what they are doing.’
Remember to put a heading in the subject in your e-mail. Everyone gets so much e-mail and may scan their in-box for ones they feel they need to read urgently, so make the heading something that will entice them to open it and read it. They may use also the subject heading to file their e-mails by. It is important to remember that if you pick up an e-mail to reply to it, you need to change the subject heading if you are emailing about a different subject.
E-mails are easy to send but so difficult to retrieve (if at all), and when writing them you should carefully consider the tone and message conveyed. They must be professional, with correct grammar and spelling. You must also make sure they are sent to the correct recipients, with everyone copied in who should be.
It is important not to type in capital letters as this is considered to be shouting on e-mail. Also, the human eye finds it easier to read small letters than capitals. If you want to do headings you can make them bold.
Be careful when sending group e-mails that you do not give away people’s e-mail addresses against their wishes. You should use blind copy (bcc) to keep the e-mail addresses of each recipient private.
Be careful of how you word e-mails and how they read – think about how it will come across to the recipient. If you are angry about something don’t send off an e-mail in haste: think about it, draft it and go back to it later when you have calmed down; change it or delete it if necessary, and remember it is sometimes better to pick up a phone or meet face to face.
E-mails that are quite curt, short and to the point are sometimes perceived as coming from someone who is abrupt or arrogant. They can irritate some people even though you may be doing it this way because of lack of time. You should write an e-mail, then read it from the reader’s point of view – imagining how the wording could be interpreted. Messages should always have a greeting at the beginning and be signed off at the end. It is a good idea to use ‘signatures’, which may include a farewell greeting such as ‘kind regards’ and your full contact details to help the recipients should they want to call you.
Similarly, people do not want to receive long e-mails that ramble on but rather ones that are to the point. If it is necessary to give lots of information, this should be attached as a word document rather than in the e-mail itself.
Be very careful with sending confidential information in emails as they can be forwarded on and can be read by the company if the authorities so wish. Consider whether it would be better to post or deliver highly confidential material by hand.
Also be aware of your company’s e-mail etiquette. Use your personal e-mail address for personal e-mails rather than clogging up the company’s inbox with your personal correspondence. Be careful not to use work time for your personal concerns.
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