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Sunday, February 21, 2010

How to write an effective emails?

 I was reading some online business articles and I thought of sharing some information with you. The articles were about email etiquette and good practices. Since most of use are using emails daily or we can't live without emails, so I think these tips are pretty useful to us.

According to Dave Johnson, there are 5 Dos and 5 Don'ts for writing an effective email.

Top 5 Dos
  1. Put important information in bold, so it’s easier to see. Likewise, if you’ve addressed an e-mail to several people and there’s an action for a certain person, bold his or her name when you address the issue. Use bold sparingly, though.
  2. If action is required, say so at the start of the e-mail. Don’t tell a long story with the requested action at the bottom. This is called the BLUF method, but I also tend to call it “getting to the verb.” - BLUF stands for 'Bottom Line Up Front'. So, be straight to the point.
  3. Keep your signature short and professional. Lose the pithy quote and just include your title and phone number.
  4. Keep the subject line relevant. If the topic changes over the course of a long thread, update the subject so it’s relevant. - Totally agree with this! It will be much easier when I need to retrieve some old emails.
  5. Proof your e-mail before you send it. And make sure your spell checker is running.
Top 5 Don’ts
  1. Don’t ever type anything in ALL CAPS, even to get someone’s attention. If you need to catch someone’s eye with something important, put it in bold. - Frankly speaking, I don't like receiving emails with ALL CAPS. It sounds like I was scolded by the sender.
  2. Don’t include your entire team or your boss on every e-mail you send. Be selective.
  3. Don’t send large attachments unless absolutely necessary, especially to a mailing list or distribution list. If possible, upload your files to the cloud, such as DropBox or MemoPal and provide a link. - I don't have these 2 softwares at the moment. Maybe I will research more on DropBox and MemoPal for my future posts.
  4. Don’t send e-mail when you’re emotional. If you’re responding to someone that has made you angry, save the message in your drafts folder until you can proof-read it more objectively, and then send the e-mail.
  5. Don’t try to be funny, especially to a mixed audience. The chances of being misunderstood are astronomical.
I hope this will help us to write a more effective email. =)

Source: Bnet


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