Emailing seems simple enough… but that’s not always the case. Use email in the wrong ways and it can lead to massive confusion, hurt feelings, and more work than necessary. At the same time, though, email the right way and you can end up with better, more productive days at the office.
But what exactly is the wrong way to email?
Here are a few things to watch out for:
Leaving out a subject line
Subject lines make a world of difference when it comes to efficiency inside your inbox. Forget to include one and you’ll regret it later. Four or five simple words can turn a 30-minute scroll through your inbox into a 5-second search for information.
Not signing off
When it comes to email, a sign-off is always necessary. Whether it’s just your name or a name and a Thank You, you should always include something in every email. Leave it out and you’ll look unprofessional.
Sarcasm can be difficult to detect when you’re standing right in front of someone. Using it in email without context is a recipe for disaster!
Email was not designed to help people resolve conflict. That is a feat that should be attempted in-person or, at the very least, over the phone. If ever you feel the email conversation has somehow morphed into conflict resolution, request that the conversation be continued face-to-face.
Everyone’s probably done it at some point. You send a message to someone and misspell something so badly that you’re embarrassed to look at yourself in the mirror. And typically… this situation could have been avoided if you had just looked over the email.
Leaving the email blank
When someone asks you to send over an attachment, you might not write anything inside the actual email. You might just attach the document and leave it at that. Heck, you may not even include a subject line – which you now know is a bad idea. But you’d be surprised by how confused people get when they receive an empty email, and they might be so confused that they miss the attachment altogether – which will only lead to more emails and further attachments.
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