4 Quick Tips To Improve Email Etiquette
Poor e-mail skills can be a career killer—yet it is surprising how many e-mail gaffes (a clumsy social error; a faux pas) occur in a given day. Here are four tips to counteract the BIG mistakes people make with their clients and co-workers and potential employers.
1. Slow down and double check before you send
Always take a moment to check spelling, content, and e-mail addresses to make sure the intended name is in the “To” field. If you do not have an automatic spell-check set up on your e-mail, add it right now! Also, be sure to check the attachments you send each and every time you attach them. Sending the wrong price list or the older version of your resume can be career suicide or can kill your deal—we’ve all done it but the point is to not let it happen again—if you can help it.
2. Rethink the CC/BCC
Ask yourself this question: Is this e-mail completely relevant to the person on copy (CC) or blind copy (BCC)? If used judiciously, the CC or BCC can be a useful tool in today’s business environment. But overused, it is simply annoying and will cease to get the recipients’ attention. (Important tip: start using BCC for ALL forwards—if you choose to forward at all—since it protects your precious network of e-mail recipients from being bombarded by your other friends and colleagues).
3. Careful not to overuse REPLY TO All
Same as #2 above. When you reply all it should be because every single person on that list NEEDS your reply.
4. In conflict—pick up the phone
If you feel very strongly about something, pick up the phone to say it or schedule a time to see the person face-to-face. E-mail is not the right venue for resolving conflict. On the contrary, the speed of it creates an exaggerated potential for misinterpretation and can add to the conflict. Think twice before you send that snippy response; the momentary satisfaction you feel from hitting SEND is probably not worth the dent you will make in your reputation as a professional.