By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
Communication is everything in a successful business—and in a successful career. Email is one of the most used tools for staying in touch, but lots of people have bad email habits that transform it into a nuisance instead of a productive vehicle. Poor emails can cause stress, strife, confusion, and even tension, but these five essential tips will help avoid snafus that land messages in the junk folder.
Emoticons can be fun from time to time in personal messages, but they shouldn’t take the place of words. Winking faces, flapping raspberry tongues, and tears are fine for Saturday morning cartoons, but they don’t have a place in work email.
Even when writing messages to friends within the company, use smileys sparingly. They are shortcuts that fail to express much, and when used in excess, they clog the screen with distractions and make messages seem less mature.
Emails aren’t research papers. Remember the three to five rule: Keep paragraphs limited to between three and five sentences, and keep emails limited to three to five paragraphs. Bullet points are a great way to section off themes because they’re short, readable, and easy to organize.
If you have too much to say for one message, consider sending several separate messages by topic. This can make it easier for the recipient to understand the flow of information as well as sort and find it again.
The biggest source of email bloopers is usually because of forgetting to proofread. Autocorrect can be helpful, but sometimes it seems like it’s out to get us.
Reading over messages before sending is well worth the extra minute or two. You may be in a hurry, but editing is worth it if you catch a major blooper before it goes off into cyberspace forever.
DOUBLE-CHECK THE RECIPENT'S ADDRESS
Technology makes it easy to send messages. It also makes it easy to send messages to the wrong people, whether it’s our boss instead of a spouse or mom or an email about a hush-hush project that you accidentally forward to the entire company list.
Double check the address before clicking away, and be extra careful when it comes to replying to the sender or replying all.
LEVERAGE THE SUBJECT LINE
Subject lines have become like headlines when it comes to email. An empty one is less likely to get read, but a well-crafted subject line will help recipients know you mean business.
Subject lines let you advertise the point quickly and summarize what the email is about. Don’t use a vague subject with just the word “Meeting.” Instead, give enough detail that the email will be clear and easy to find later, such as “Meeting: Q1 Team Performance Review.”