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Tips for Effective Email Writing
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Use Proper Structure & Layout Since reading from a screen is more difficult than reading from paper, the structure and lay out is very important for e-mail messages. Use short paragraphs and blank lines between each paragraph. When making points, number them or mark each point as separate.
Use A Meaningful Subject Try to use a subject that is meaningful to the recipient as well as yourself. For instance, when you send an email to a company requesting information about a product, it is better to mention the actual name of the product. E.g.; Product ‘ABC’ description
Answer All Questions, And Pre-Empt Further Questions An email reply must answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions – If you do not answer all the questions in the original email, you will receive further e-mails regarding the unanswered questions, which will not only waste your time and your receiver’s time but also cause considerable frustration. Moreover, if you are able to pre-empt relevant questions, your receiver will be grateful and impressed with your efficiency.
Do Not Write In CAPITALS If you write in capitals it seems as if you are shouting. This can be highly annoying and might trigger an unwanted response. Therefore, try not to send any email text in capitals.
Don't Leave Out The Message Thread When you reply to an email, you must include the original mail in your reply, in other words click 'Reply', instead of 'New Mail'. Leaving the thread might take a fraction longer in download time, but it will save the recipient much more time and frustration in looking for the related emails in their inbox.
Take Care With Abbreviations And Emoticons In business emails, try not to use abbreviations such as BTW (by the way) and LOL (laugh out loud). The recipient might not be aware of the meanings of the abbreviations and in business emails these are generally not appropriate. The same goes for emoticons, such as the smiley :-). If you are not sure whether your recipient knows what it means, it is better not to use it.
Complaints/Escalations • D – Describe • A – Acknowledge • S – Specify Alternative • R – Request action/reaffirm • E.g.: I would like to bring to your notice that there has been frequent delay in the delivery of the consignment from the production department. We understand that the department has shortage of resources. However we suggest the requisition form is sent one day earlier to ensure adequate time for the production team for packaging. This would avoid delays in future. We are hopeful that appropriate corrective action would be taken.
Saying No: • A – Apologise • E – Explain • A – Alternative • E.g.: I regret to let you know that we are not in a position to work on additional data at this point in time. This is because the entire team is currently working on an emergency assignment. However I can suggest a freelancer who can complete the task in 3 days.
Apologise: • M – Message • D – Details • A – Action • E – Ending • E.g.: Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in sending the report. Our Data bank had crashed yesterday. The service engineer who maintains the data bank was unable to rectify the issue on time due to the prolonged power shut down. We have installed additional back up to avoid such mishaps in future. We once again are sorry for the delay and assure that such shortfalls do not occur again.
Delivering Bad News: • M – Message • E – Empathize • A – Assure • T – Take action • E.g.: It is with regret that we inform you that the transport vehicle that carriers your consignment met with an accident on GST road last night. Unfortunately the consignment caught fire and was charred completely. We understand the impact this delay is going to have on your deliverables to your client and the possible monetary loss. We assure our complete support in reducing the delay from our end. In fact we have already allocated an additional resource to work on your case.