5 Ways Poorly Written Emails Will Hurt U
Despite the email overload, it's important to ensure emails are clean, concise and professional in tone
I judge people. You judge people. We all judge people, don’t we? Yes, we do.
When I receive a poorly written email, I make snack judgments about the person who wrote it. I think, “Just take won minute and confirm it’s good to grow!”
How many emails do you send daily? There may be days at work when you say more in emails than out loud to co-workers or clients. Given the volume, don’t you think ensuring that each email is clean, concise and professional in tone should be a priority?
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be an email pro.
1. Read important emails aloud (quietly)
You don’t have to stand up and scream it across the office. Please, don’t do that. After checking spelling, grammar and formatting, take a moment to quietly read your message aloud. Vocalizing what you’ve written is a great way to make sure the writing flows and catch errors you might otherwise miss.
At my first job out of college – an education management firm – I nearly sent the phrase “public school” sans the “L” in “public” to one of our clients. Yeah, I know.
Read them aloud. Rust me, it’s worth it.
2. Don’t thank me six times
Thank you! Thanks! Thanks again!
Sure, emails are meant to be short form and it’s more difficult to discern tone of voice than in an actual conversation. With that said, there is no reason you need to include more than two thank you’s in emails when you are asking something of someone. There is a thin line between gratitude and obsequiousness. This may just be a personal pet peeve but maybe others feel similarly. Anyway, thanks so much for reading!
3. Be concise, not curt
No one likes finding a novel in his or her inbox where the takeaway or action item is hidden between the fourth and final paragraph. Strive to write concise, actionable emails every time.
Likewise, no one appreciates blunt one-liners that more often waste time in their vagueness than save it. Avoid unaccompanied messages such as, “Can you please send that report?” or “Are you able to make the meeting?”
Huh? Which report? I’m working on six of them. Which meeting? The two o’clock or the four?
4. Diamonds are forever and so are emails
Remember that email you sent your buddy complaining about the boss man? Well, it may not be as private as you think. Some companies monitor emails or even log drafts. Unprofessional or offensive emails could hurt your chances at a promotion or even be used as evidence in a lawsuit against you.
As with most things digital, emails are far from impermanent. That is to say, unless lightening strikes the server and every backup server around the world, emails are recoverable, for better or worse. Instead of rooting for the apocalypse, try a polite, professional tone instead.
5. Don’t sign off with “Cheers”
Are we in a bar? No, we’re in office emailing! Don’t sign off with "Cheers," unless you’re telling people when the holiday party is.
Email is an opportunity to repeatedly demonstrate you are an effective communicator. With not much effort, you can prove you are indeed a word master.
You spend enough time moving letters around your phone in Words with Friends just to flaunt your vocabulary and up your score.
Time to score some points at work – write good emails.
Monster Wants to Know: What's the worst email blunder you've made? Share with us in the comment section.