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Writing Effective Email By Stacie Heaps Professional Writer and Editor Because businesspeople are extremely busy, it is easy

to simply ignore (or even delete) messages that don’t seem urgent or as important as the many other things that fight for our attentioneach day. To help prevent your e-mail message from being ignored or deleted without even having been read, follow the steps outlined below. Choose your subject carefully. The subject line of your e-mail is of utmost importance, as it is what will determine whether the person reads, files, forwards, ignores, or deletes your e-mail message. Therefore, be specificenough to convey the main purpose of your message in the subjec t line. For example, don’t just write “Meeting,” but rather “Schedule Meeting to Discuss Upcoming Marketing Seminar.” Also, consider including essential information (such as a response date) in the subject line if you can do so briefly.Be careful when crafting the subject of your e-mail, however, that you do not unintentionally imply more or less than you intend to. Recipients may read only the subject of your e-mail if theyfeel that all of the information they need is contained within it, so be careful in wording your subject that you do not mislead readers to believe that they have all of the necessary information if they don’t. Especially with the threat of viruses and other malware, people are less likely to open e-mail messages from people they do n’t immediately recognize. Consequently, if the recipient might not immediately recognize your name, you need to choose a subject that is specific, clear, and relevant enough that they will feel that your e-mail is worth the time (and potential risk) of opening.Examples: Reminder: 9 a.m. XML training meeting tomorrowJohn Doe Firm: Important Project UpdateXYZ Corporation Handbook Revision: Please Provide Feedback by 2/17 Identify yourself, if necessary. If you are e-mailing someone who does not know you (or e-mailing someone whom you met only briefly), introduce yourself. Keep your introduction short and to the point, but do include anyrelevant information that will help the person remember who you are, for example. Include necessary information. In addition to stating your purpose in the subject line of your e-mail, you should also summarize your purpose in the first paragraph of the body of the message, particularly if your message ismore than a paragraph or two long. Tell readers the information they need to know and what you want or need them to do based on the information you are sending them. In particular, makesure to include information such as important contact people or relevant deadlines. If the e-mail is more than a couple of paragraphs long, reiterate what you need done and by when in thelast paragraph of the email.Examples: Don’t forget that the mandatory HR meeting is this Wednesday at 3 p.m. In order to stay on track with our schedule, you will need to e-mail electronic versions of the updated documents by March 3 .Please provide the requested feedback no later than Friday, October 16 .Also, if several days (or more) have passed since an initial email or event, remind the reader of the context of your message with a brief introduction such as “Last week you asked if I c ould . . .” Such reminders will save the recipient having to spend time trying to remember what you are referring to in your message. Leave out unnecessary information.

ThnxBut: I’m trying to get a final count for the workshop tomorrow afternoon. they might miss important information.m. leave out information that is not relevant to the matter at hand. If your e-mail is very long or the questions or ideas aremore complex. and generally avoiding shortened or cutesy words. consider writing separate e-mails for each one so that they will be read and responded to individually. As mentioned above. checking your spelling. it is often helpful to use separate paragraphs — with paragraph breaks in between — for your questions. Send specific information to specific individuals based on whatthey need to know and do. It is amazing how many businesspeople who would spend hours making a presentation or project polished and professional will dash off an e-mail that is so informal and unbusinesslike toclients. it is generally best to send personal information in a separate e-mail from work-related content. save room in cyberspace. and symbol s. If your e-mail is long or contains complex subject matter. bold italics). Thanks. Readers who have to wade through lengthy messages are more likely to give upbefore reaching the end. One effective way to get infor mation to those who need it is to use carbon copy and blind carbon copy to inform those involved in a project who don’t need to actually do anything other than simply read the information that you send. Determine who needs to receive the information. only those who actually need the information you are sending. and hired professionals. Inparticular. and never look back to your original message. When sending e-mails to professionals. How many times have you received responses to an e-mail that you sent that do not include all of the information you were requesting? Readers often read until they reach the first questionor request. phrases.If you are sending an important e-mail message. If different people working on a project are involved at different levels. after you have written your message.Not: im trying to get a final count for the workshop tomorrow. To keep your messages concise. For this reason.Keep your message short and concise. Proofread your message. you can often give eachperson or team only the information they needs to accomplish the work required of them. p. If you need to emphasize a word or phrase. Maintain a professional tone. please let me know. go back to the initial paragraph and add a sentence indicating how many pointsyou have covered. hit reply. if you plan to attend plz let me no. You don’t want to leave anyone out who truly needs to receive the information you are sending. though you don’t want to leave anyone in the dark. . treat it that way by putting the same kind of care into it that you would for a letter or similar correspondence. However. you should still keep the tone of your message professional by usingstandard capitalization and punctuation. don’t send the email to everyone. Rarely should e-mail messages be longer than a few paragraphs. take the time to check your message for spelling errors and to proofread your text. Even better. you probably don’t need to tell everyone everythin g.requests. use italics or bold (or rarely. or other important points if you have more than one. and don’t use all caps anywhere in your message. Keep in mind that e-mail is not private. colleagues. you maywant to have someone proofread your e-mail for you to make sure that it is clear and adequately conveys your intended meaning. numbering your paragraphs lets readers know at a glance how many points they need to respond to. Though e-mail is admittedly more relaxed than a ten-page business proposal. Use standard fonts and font sizes. Then. Keep your message focused. If you plan to attend. or in their skimming.

swamped right now.com/writing-effective-email. can be posted onany number of Web sites. the namesin the BCC list can not be seen by other recipients in the list). You never know when someone might be in an all-day meeting. It is often helpful (and it frequently saves time and effort) to include the text of the original e-mail (or to copy and paste portions of text from the original message into your reply e-mail) andthen follow the original text with your response in a different color so that your added text is easily recognizable.and outside of the workplace. for example. will respond to your requests ASAP. make sure you are writing something that you don’t mind if other people know that you wrote. When responding to e-mail messages: Respond in a timely manner. Doing so allows the original writer to immediately identify what part of theoriginal e-mail you are responding to and it helps ensure that you as the original recipient respond to all of the main points of the original e-mail.html . Respond using the original text. if you want to forward a message that someone has sent to you. Be professional and courteous by responding promptly to email messages you receive. This is a good idea. For information that is time sensitive or urgent. On the other hand. or swamped with other work. when sending an e-mail to several applicants who were not hired for a position. determine if you should first ask the perso n’s approval or permission before doing so. or whenforwarding information to large groups of people (in order to reduce the risk of spreading viruses and the like).Many companies can and do periodically or systematically read employee e-mails. Consequently.writeexpress. If you want to send an e-mail message to several people without disclosing the names of the other recipients to each other. follow your e-mail message with a phone call. Furthermore. Source: http://www. Even if you only have time to dash off a quick “Received your e -mail.” this lets the original sender know that you received his or her e -mail and that you will get back to him or her as soon as possible. Consider entering recipients’ names into the BCC field rather than the To field. Follow up. unexpectedly out of the office for a day (or longer). anything you send through e-mail can be forwarded to countless recipients. or can be printed and publicly displayed or distributed for untold numbers of people to see both in. before hitting the send button. use BCC (blind carbon copy) rather than CC (unlike CC. You don’t want your e -mail to get buried with all the others.