Business Communication: Email Communication

Meeting someone face to face, you can read a person’s emotions. Even with a phone call, someone’s tone of voice can convey a lot of information. But with the absence of facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice, words are left open to misunderstanding. Especially, when sending with email, it’s hard to detect emotions which is why it’s easy to be misconstrued.

Email is an important method of business communication. Using email can greatly benefit the organization as it provides efficient and effective ways to transmit all kinds of electronic data.

“An email can make or break. A potential opportunity for you, so send and respond to them wisely!”

Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

Email as a means of communication can be effective only when it’s relevant. If emails are poorly written, unclear or ineffective it can cause a loss of time and productivity, but can also harm one’s reputation by leaving a poor impression on the reader. Email is the most widely used tool for business communication in the workplace. Using emails as interaction with your colleagues, boss, clients and prospective employers, be sure to follow Do’s and Don’ts for effective email communication.

Do’s:

Have a Clear Subject Line

The subject line often determines whether an email is opened and how the recipient responds. The subject line should communicate exactly what the email is all about so that the recipient can prioritize the email’s importance without having to open it.

Use a Professional Salutation

Professional salutation featured image

The salutation of an email is who the email is addressed to. It’s important to convey an appropriate level of familiarity and respect.

Proofread your message

Typo or grammar goof in the email might make a bad impression.

  • Get your contact’s name right: check the spelling of the recipient’s name. A misspelled name is a red flag.
  • Check your Tone: Imagine receiving the email rather than sending it.
  • Make sure you’ll be understood: Make sure your recipient has enough details to understand what you’ve written. If you find yourself giving too much information, you might first write a quick summary and ask the recipient whether they’d like to have more details.
  • Check for Clarity: Keep your sentences simple and direct.
  • Watch out for Wordiness: Eliminate fillers words and phrases. Consider George Orwell’s 6 rules of Writing:
    • Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figures of speech.
    • Never use a long word where a short one will do.
    • If it is possible to cut a word, always cut it out.
    • Never use the passive where you can use the active.
    • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, r a jargon word if you can think an everyday English equivalent.
    • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Reply to all emails

Responding to emails is a key component of communications strategy for any organization.

Keep Private Material Confidential

Refrain from discussing confidential information or materials or better ask permission before posting sensitive material either in the body of the email or in the attachment.

Confidential information featured image

“How to write a good email:

1. Write your email

2. Delete most of it

3. Send.”

Dan Munz

Don’ts:

Don’t forget your Signature

An email signature is like handling a person a business card every time you send an email. Signatures are your digital card. It is a way to connect with customers and convey your openness to communication.

Don’t use Humor

Humor and email don’t mix. There is a chance of being misinterpreted or taken as sarcasm by another party, without the accompanying vocal tone and facial expressions.

Don’t assume the recipient knows what you are talking about

Create your messages a stand-alone note, your recipients have a lot of emails and likely won’t remember the chains of events leading up to your email.

Don’t shoot from the lip

Give your message some thoughtful consideration before sending.

Don’t overuse exclamation points

Punctuation isn’t really going to impact them. Work emails should be seen as ‘professional’. Don’t use an exclamation point when writing a highly professional email, overusing exclamation points can also be seen as unprofessional.

“The basic idea of email has remained essentially unchanged since the first networked message was sent in 1971. And while email is great for one-on-one, formal correspondence, there are far better tools for collaboration.”

Ryan Holmes

Email is the most widely used tool for business communication in the workplace. Poorly written, unclear, misleading or ineffective emails can cause a loss of time and productivity, but can also harm one’s reputation by leaving a poor impression on the reader.

Email now takes up a significant portion of our workday. It creates some challenges for writers, miscommunication can easily occur when people have different expectations about messages that they send and receive.

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