How to get emails right with easy steps to remember

Modern society is bombarded with emails about everything from advertising, spam, spyware, important emails, malware, phishing and more. Just like the previous line, it is so easy for important emails to be overlooked.
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July 16, 2012 - PRLog -- So here is a list of simple rules everyone should have in the back of their head when emailing. Follow them will ensure your emails get to your intended recipient. Further more, if you get this right, your recipient is also more likely to respond to your email in a timely manner.

Always backup email.
Data stored in the cloud is vulnerable to frequent hosting failures, hacking and user errors. Especially with major email providers, you should backup Gmail, backup Yahoo Mail! and others.

Always check your attachments before sending or forwarding. When you email attachments (especially when you forward it from a previous email), you share attachments, which could contain sensitive information. Do review it before doing so – after all, you can’t recall it later.

Also, it is common decency to scan your attachments for viruses before sending it. Nothing worse than trusted contacts getting a computer infection by opening your attachments and emails.

Always make a note of any attachments in the e-mail. If you’ve attached important or relevant documents, mention them in the message. Those attachments can easily be overlooked by your recipient.

Always write a powerful subject line that will get noticed. Make sure it is related to the purpose or content of the e-mail and that it isn’t misleading

Always include a personalized salutation. Get the person’s name—and address them by it. Make sure it’s spelled correctly! Offer a courteous greeting or introduction, as well.

Always get right to the point. Place your main point, request, or question in the very first sentence of your message

Always keep the message short and succinct. Limit your messages to two to three paragraphs. Keep them short and to the point. People are turned off by bulky, long-winded messages. Who has the time to read those?

Always ensure that spelling and punctuation is accurate. Use spell check, and double check yourself, because spell checkers rarely notice correctly spelled wrong words.

Always use a readable font. Construct your message in a font size and color that is easy to read.

Have a specific call to action with response time, if desired. Never leave open ended times like ‘please respond as soon as possible.’ That is way too vague and means nothing to the recipient. People are much more likely to comply if the deadline is specific

Always include a signature line. Have a “full” and a “reply” signature. E-mail trails can go on for days when you include a full signature with every reply.

A full signature will have name, title, address, phone, fax, web, e-mail, and disclaimers. A reply signature should be much simpler, with just your name and contact information.

Always be conscious of your tone. E-mail is one-dimensional, and tone in an e-mail can be easily misconstrued, since there is no body language. When you think about your tone, consider your audience.

Always double check that you’re sending the e-mail to your intended recipient(s). There are many different consequences that can result from this type of error. Don’t be careless.

Always review the message before you send it. Remember that once the message is out there, it may be made public, deliberately or accidentally.

NEVER WRITE IN ALL CAPS. The recipient may feel you’re shouting at him.

Never write something you wouldn’t want others to see. E-mails are forever, they can always be retrieved by the IT department if necessary.

Never be offensive. Don’t use profanity, ethnic barbs, or sexist verbiage. Never criticize the boss or the company by e-mail. That includes forwarding messages that are off-color, offensive, racist, or obscene.

Never throw anyone under the bus by e-mail - don’t put criticisms in writing.
Avoid short-hand, texting language (abbreviations), emoticons. and smiley faces. Not everyone is familiar with them, and they’re too informal

Never use the ‘high priority’ option unless it’s truly high priority. Also, use the words “URGENT” and “IMPORTANT” sparingly, and only when they are true

Never send e-mail messages when you are emotional. Regardless of how you try to mask it, people will feel it. You also might say something you regret.

Avoid using e-mail to discuss issues among several people. The threads become diffused, and the content is difficult to follow. Call a meeting instead.

Never write multiple e-mails at one time. Multiple windows open at any given time can, and do, become confused, and often enough messages are sent to unintended recipients.

Avoid using BCC to rat out your co-workers. Blind copying turns you into the rat.

Don’t resend the same e-mail over and over again. A follow-up is usually acceptable, but you don’t want to harass the recipient.

Don’t “reply all” unless everyone needs to get your response. Copy or reply only to those who really have to receive the e-mail.

Avoid using e-mail to provide “constructive criticism” or to discuss more serious matters.

Never hide behind an e-mail with something that should be said face-to-face, or at a minimum verbally over the phone. It’s cowardly and will only exacerbate whatever issue needs to be addressed.

Avoid sending an e-mail message in the middle of the night. You’ll be much better off saving it and reviewing it by the light of day before hitting the send button.

These might seem like a lot of steps or it’s a huge checklist to follow and might be tough to follow – however, practice makes perfect. Upon mastering this art, emails will be sent, received and replied without being ignored.

Although many of these suggestions are probably rudimentary to many, it enlightens others to their misguided email ways. Take these as a reminder or refresher course and perhaps send it to your co-workers/friends/family so perhaps they may be as courteous in email as in person.
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