Tips for Taking Advantage
In today’s connected
business world, e-mail has become one of if not the preferred method
of communication. E-mail offers quick delivery, fast
response time and the ability to provide attachments and information
in an efficient
manner. Of course, e-mail is sometimes overused when a phone
call or a visit should really be made. In order to take use e-mail
to your advantage, here are Nine Tips for E-mail Success:
Don’t Click When You Can Call – I just mentioned this a
second ago and I’ll mention it again because it’s
important. There are times when it makes sense to e-mail your
client some information or new material. There are other times when
it makes the most sense to call your or make a personal visit. “Hello”
messages are best delivered in person. Before sending an e-mail,
ask yourself if the best means to communicate your message is via
e-mail, on the
phone or in person.
Beware the Crowded E-Mail – Planning on copying your coworkers
on a message? Think about whether they really need to be included
in the delivery list. The same goes for replies to mailing lists.
90% of the time, it doesn’t make sense to hit “Reply to All.” Reduce
mailbox clutter – copy only those people who need to be copied on
Check Your E-Mail Often – Since so many people rely on e-mail
as much, if not more than they do their telephone,
it is important to check your e-mail often. Keep your e-mail
client running so you can stay on top of messages. You can improve
response times and prevent overflowing inboxes.
Leave Your Calling Card – Almost every e-mail client will
allow you to set up a signature for all outgoing or replied
messages. Set up your signature so to include your name, company,
phone number and e-mail address. Some people like to add a company
web page or slogan. Just make sure you have enough contact
information sothat your customers can reach you.
Proof Your Work – There’s no reason to not spell check your
messages. Most e-mail clients allow you to automatically check
messages before they are sent out. Make sure that messages are
grammatically correct and that words are spelled properly. What
you write reflects upon your level
Don’t Throw Out Rules on Appearance – Some people send e-mails
without using capital letters or punctuation. Others use ALL CAPS
(yelling, in netiquette!?). A few even use cutesy abbreviations
like gr8 and LOL with customers. Those abbreviations are best left
for your teenagers to use in chat rooms. When composing messages,mind
your Ps and Qs.
Clean Up Your Inbox – I like to have a clean inbox with
no more than a page full of old messages or messages to be answered.
Reduce mailbox clutter by storing
important messages in archive folders and deleting all other
Think Before You Write – Be careful what you write. It
can end up accidentally forwarded to the wrong hands or, worse yet,
in the right hands. Angry? Take some old
advice… write the client a letter (in Word, not via e-mail),
read it, then delete it. Don’t send anything when you’re angry.
It can haunt you or even get you fired!
Attachments Wisely – When using attachments, send only what
is necessary and avoid sending large files. This is particularly
the case for unexpected e-mails. Send what is essential and, if
planning to send a large file (like a .ppt file), make sure your
client is aware
of what is coming.