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Five Quick Tips to Improve Your E-mail Etiquette

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The dawn of the technological age and the introduction of instant messaging have put aside the classic pen-and-paper telegrams and the formality that comes with them. The often-urgent nature of messages being sent through electronic means does not have the same kind of professionalism as those written and sent via snail mail.

Quality should never be compromised because of speed or urgency. There are simple ways that one can use in order to retain formality when sending messages through electronic means.

 

  1. Use simple words

Keep-it-simple

Formality doesn’t always necessitate the use of big words. The fact that you’re using your email, SMS, or IM in order to send a message already indicates that the message is urgent. The receiver will certainly not appreciate any beating around the bush. Give a short introduction to set the tone, but get to the point straight away.

  1. Keep a consistent tone

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If the message is formal, keep it formal all throughout. Use a short and formal introduction. If the message is informal, keep it light all throughout. The tone of the message lets your receiver know how urgent the message is and how urgent s/he must reply.

  1. Do away with shortcuts

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It might be tempting to throw in some alphanumerics or acronyms, but show your receiver some respect by fully spelling out all the words and the phrases.

  1. Be courteous

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The CC and BCC bars on your email exist for a reason. If you are sending an email by order of someone, it would be best to send them a courtesy copy (CC) to inform them that you have sent the email, and to include them in the conversation. If you are sending an email to a large number of people, better put the addresses in the BCC (blind courtesy copy) line. The receiver wouldn’t know that you sent the message to a number of other people. Moreover, this ensures that all replies are directed to the sender, and will not be received by others in the BCC line.

  1. Edit

 

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Before sending an email, skim over it a couple of times just to ensure that you there are no typos, spelling mistakes or grammar errors. A message with too many errors is quite taxing to read and may cause miscommunication. If however, you accidentally send in an email with some errors, follow it up with a message containing the corrections, and an apology.

 

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