Today I want to share important emailing tips that I have found to be true time and time again. We don’t think about it these days, because we take it for granted, but how and when is email useful? In this week’s video, I share some insights about email etiquette and best practices to avoid some embarrassing and common mishaps.
Email has replaced the phone as a primary tool of communication. It’s a time saver and blessing when it comes to sending volumes of documents and communicating logistics. However, there are many instances when a phone conversation or jumping on a zoom or skype call is still best – especially when you’re in the middle of a negotiation. You want to have the benefit of seeing their facial expressions and body language.
How many times have you sent or forwarded an email that wasn’t intended for the recipient, or copied the wrong people? Or you received an email that wasn’t intended for you? We’ve all suffered through the embarrassment of sending emails to unintended recipients that includes sensitive information not meant to be shared. The consequences can be costly both in terms of reputation, a project you’re working on, and most importantly, it can damage a relationship.
I have a few helpful emailing tips that can help avoid this mishap altogether by following some basic rules.
6 Emailing Tips To Do Before You Hit Send.
1. Negotiations and detailed conversations about deal points should not take place over email. A better practice is to discuss in-person or over the phone. Both tone and tenure get lost in translation when communicating important issues over email. It’s crucial to gauge responses, reluctance or eagerness with the help of verbal cues. It’s also a stronger way to build rapport.
2. Summarize and document your phone conversation, and if appropriate, send this through email. Doing this communicates your understanding of the issues discussed and allows the other person to clarify or add information.
3. Stay away from using emoticons in a professional business negotiation. Communication and correspondence should be relevant, topical, polite and professional. It’s not the time or place to make use of cute smiley faces.
4. Do not use email to vent your anger. Email isn’t the right medium to express your anger; it may only serve to exacerbate the problem. Instead, take a moment to regroup and then send a request to meet to discuss the issue constructively.
5. Important asks, like a request to increase salary, change departments, terminate a contract should not be sent over email. Instead, send an email requesting a meeting to discuss your ask in person. This way, you are encouraging a positive discussion where you can put your persuasion tactics to good use instead of providing an opportunity to say no immediately in an email response.
6. Finally, what do you do when an email ends up in someone’s inbox that it wasn’t intended for? If this happens, take it in stride and remind yourself we all make mistakes. Depending on the relationship you have with the person, you may want to acknowledge your mistake and send apologies with a request to disregard or a sincere ask to move past it. I would likely send an email and follow up with a phone call.
If you are the recipient of an email that wasn’t intended for you, the best thing to do it delete it and move on. Recognize that we’ve all been there and we all make mistakes. Also, before sending an email, it’s a great practice to check all recipients and content once or twice to avoid these unbearably uncomfortable situations.
Hopefully implementing these 6 emailing tips before you hit that send button will help you avoid misunderstanding, miscommunications and all manner of problems in our modern, technological world.
Tell me what has helped you in communication through email?
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