In a fast moving global economy, e-mail offers you convenience of being able to quickly get your message across to your colleagues or clients at any hour of day or night. The Internet revolution has had unintended effect of decreasing use of oral communication and increasing importance of text - particularly e-mails - as primary means of business communication. Employees are no longer writing memos to each other; they are sending e-mails.
But are we taking e-mails as seriously as our other business correspondence? Remember, your correspondence says a lot about you, and E-mail etiquette (also called netiquette) not only makes for effective professional communication, but also helps you build a good professional image within your organisation and with clients.
Mind Your Manners Be conversant with fact that there are some people who are very sensitive to being addressed by their first names. When in doubt, use Mr., Ms., Sir, Madam or Dr. (if appropriate). When you are replying to an e-mail and sender of original message has used his or her first name only, then you could safely assume itís all right to use that personís first name as well.
Next, there are three words in dictionary that are very important to netiquette. People may not notice these words when theyíre there, but if you forget to use them, youíll come across looking disrespectful and ungrateful. These very powerful words are ďPleaseĒ and ďThank YouĒ.
Donít Use That Tone With Me Tone is a difficult thing to explain. Remember when your parents would say ďDonít use that tone of voice with me, young lady (or young man)?Ē Your feelings come across by way you say something. It is easy to change your tone when youíre speaking. When youíre writing itís very hard to do so. Whenever you write an e-mail, you should read your message over several times before you hit send. Make sure that you come across as respectful, friendly, and approachable. And donít sound curt or demanding. Sometimes just rearranging your paragraphs will help.
If youíre writing to someone youíve communicated with before, you might want to begin by saying ďI hope you are well.Ē E-mail writers often use emoticons to convey a certain tone. For those of you who donít know what these are, emoticons are little faces made up by arranging parentheses, colons, and semi-colons. Use good judgement here. If you are writing to someone frequently and share an informal relationship, then emoticons are okay. If youíre writing to a prospective client or your boss, stick to words only. Avoid writing your message using all uppercase letters. It looks like youíre shouting.
And Your Point Would Be...? When possible, donít ramble. Be concise and get to your point as quickly as you can. However, donít leave out necessary details. If providing a lot of background information will help recipient answer your query, by all means, include it. You may even want to apologize for being so verbose at beginning of message.
Plz Donít Abbrvt. Never ever use U instead of you, 2 instead of to or too, plz instead of please, and thanx instead of thanks. Itís fine for personal e-mails. Business e-mails should be more formal. Of course, frequently used abbreviations such as Mr. and Ms., FYI (for your information), inc., and etc. are fine.