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Effective Email CommunicationWritten by Adam Senour
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DOC (Microsoft Word/WordPad document) XLS (Excel spreadsheet) Use short paragraphs. Try to keep your paragraphs to 50 words or less to ensure maximum readability. Don't send unsolicited sales information/commercial emails. Unsolicited commercial emails, or spam, are becoming an increasing problem and many organizations are blocking, deleting, and in many cases reporting senders of these emails to various anti-spam services and search engines in an effort to curtail sender's efforts. Use second person terms as much as possible. Words such as "you", "your", and "yours" personalize your emails, letting your customer know that you're thinking of him/her specifically. Check your emails for spilling n' grammer...er...spelling and grammar. A minor typographical error in a lengthy email will generally go unnoticed, but a series of typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors will indicate a lack of professionalism and has potential to cost you business.
Many email programs, such as Microsoft Outlook, include spelling and grammar tools to ensure that mistakes are kept to a minimum. If you do not have an email program with these tools activated, then alternatively you can open up your favourite word processor; type your email; check it for mistakes; and then copy and paste it into your email program. Respond to all emails within 24-48 hours. If you cannot answer your customer's question in this time period, at least send him/her an email letting them know status of his/her inquiry and that it is being taken care of. Some things do take longer than one day to resolve, and vast majority of customers are very understanding of this, as long as they're kept apprised of situation.
Depending on your level of familiarity with your customers, some of these rules can be relaxed and altered to meet their specific needs. However, adhering to these general guidelines will ensure that, more often than not, you will become an effective email communicator.
Adam Senour is the owner of ADAM Web Design, a leading web design and development company in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.