Email 101: Back to Basics
It’s a technological phenomenon–the more we are on our phones, the more we forget the basics. In today’s world, many of us spend the majority of our day outside of the office. This leads to quick replies, scattered emails, and broken conversations. Even in front of a desktop, you may not be the most effective communicator–sometimes your brevity is borne from a growing to-do list, or perhaps you’re just not thinking about the recipient of the email. We’ve all been there.
Here are a few tips to get your email habits reset to make you the most effective communicator the first time.
- Have an effective Subject Line – Emails, just like verbal conversations, can take many avenues once it gets going. If the email was originally about venues but led into florals and decor, it may be best to update the subject line to reflect this new topic for easy searching. On this same reasoning, a simple “Hey” probably won’t be answered as quickly as “Response Requested: XYZ”. Think about the recipient when writing your subject line.
- When to Reply All – Does everyone on the email list need to get your response? More often than not, the answer is no. While replying all may be the fastest solution, it has the potential to clog up others’ inboxes and take away from the original email’s content. Think conservatively when using this email function.
- Informal vs. Formal – In an introductory email, always err on the side of formality, unless you met the recipient in person and are following up or have been introduced in a less formal way already
- Can you be TOO Friendly? – While smiley faces and emojis can add emotional context to an otherwise dry email, make sure you are doing it sparingly with those you are not the most familiar with to ensure you are making the best impression as you set up your working relationship
- Signatures – And no, we don’t mean “Sent from iPhone”. Make sure that you have a signature attached to every email for quick reference for others
- Keep it Direct – While informality is most people’s default when writing an email, burying the lede after telling about your weekend can diminish your email’s importance and can even confuse the recipient of its urgency
- Replies Matter – Often with our busy schedules we read an email but don’t have the answer or can’t reply in detail. A simple, “I have received your email and will respond by X” will let the other person know a response in coming and the email isn’t lost in your inbox, only to be ignored or forgotten later
- Take it Offline – Sometimes the best thing you can do is to simply pick up the phone and leave email behind. A string of emails can be more confusing than helpful and calling the person to talk through a solution may be the best approach. Take it one step further and follow up with an email of all your talking points so everyone can be on the same page moving forward.
We know our clients’ time is valuable and emails are just another way we ensure their needs are our top priority. Find out more about AlliedPRA and contact us for your next event.