Small Business Technology

Email: How to Use it Properly for Maximum Effectiveness

Written by Mac Cassity for Gaebler Ventures

Using email can be effective, if used properly. This article will help you to make sure the communications you are sending are well received and respectful of others.

Thanks to the internet, information and communication is just a fingertip away.

Email: How to Use it Properly for Maximum Effectiveness

Most of us spend much of our time on the internet daily now and we often take for granted just how meaningful this tool really is. One area that is most important is email.

No other aspect of technology is as much a part of our daily life as email. From communications between people at your place of business, to those in your family, we are using email constantly. Therefore, it is important to understand exactly how to use it so that it is as effective for us as possible. Here are some tips to help your email communications stay on track:

Be concise

No one wants to open their email to see several pages of text in front of them. Using email for quick, info filled messages is best. If you DO have a lengthy message that needs to be delivered, oftentimes, the phone is the best way. Details can be lost, misinterpreted etc. making long emails not recommended.

Respond immediately or perform action item

Letting an email sit in your inbox without acknowledging it is useless. Read emails quickly and either respond or perform the action item requested. THEN, you can delete the email. If you are like many of us, you DON'T do this and wind up with hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of old emails just sitting there.

Refrain from criticizing or reprimanding

Email is not the best way to manage a situation. If you are having a disagreement with someone, or need to call someone out about a particular situation, it is advised to do it in person or via a phone call. All too often, email communications stray down the wrong path and leave both sides confused and angry. It is too easy to misunderstand the intent of an email that was typed quickly and those misunderstandings often escalate.

Stay away from mass forwards

Sure, that joke you just got was pretty funny, but is it really worth sending to everyone in your email list? If you become known as the person who forwards stuff, your emails will soon become ignored. Much like the boy who cried wolf, it is best to save emails for important communications most of the time. An occasional shared forward once in a while is ok, but if you abuse this rule, your emails will get more groans than giggles.

Don't mass carbon copy

If you are sending a mass email, it is best to use an email program specifically for that person. Otherwise, place the additional emails in BCC or blind carbon copy. By allowing all email addresses to be visible you are opening up a situation for someone to REPLY ALL which will send an email to everyone who has been cc'd. This is bad etiquette and almost always results in an angry recipient...or 10.

It is important that you keep in mind that emailing someone is as personal as calling them or sending a letter. Not everyone will view it this way, but the majority do. Respect those you are communicating with and your emails will have much more impact and will serve as an effective means of communication between you and those on your list.

Mac Cassity is an entrepreneur and business person. Mac began writing professionally when he was twelve years old for a comic book collecting publication. Today, he has experience in insurance agency management and runs his own freelance writing business, Mac the Knife Articles.

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