Words By Brad Walker – ADFX Art Director
1. Always reply to the existing email trail
Keep the entire conversation in one place, for ease of future reference and organisation… it makes sense!
2. Stop ‘justing’ your way through emails
Adding ‘just’ to your sentence almost demeans what you are trying to say… ‘just’ often makes it sound like you are apologising. Taking it out doesn’t make you sound aggressive – it will add confidence! Just try it…
3. Reply all…
Unless there is a reason for only wanting to reply to one or certain people on your list… hit reply all – it’s only a button away! There is usually a reason they are there in the first place.
4. Get a second opinion and call them
If you are sending a negative email, such as delivering bad news, expressing anger or if you at all think your email could be interpreted badly – ask for a second opinion from someone removed from the situation before sending. Also, if feasible, call to discuss with the receiver – start with ‘I have sent you an email and would like to chat about it xyz.’ This can often soften the tone of what you are saying.
5. Be aware of your attachment size
Internally could you opt for inserting a link to where it can be found on the shared drive? If external, could you send via a file sharing service? Be considerate of clogging up your own and other people’s inbox!
6. Get to the point, but be detailed
This one contradicts itself! You want to pack your email with as much information that is necessary – but it must be exactly that… necessary and relevant! Every word in your email should serve a purpose.
7. Include a signature
You want people to be able to easily get in touch with you, ensure that signatures are added onto your new emails AND your replies!
We are all guilty of not doing this! For smaller emails, ensure you are at least skimming your eyes over and correctly any mistakes. Bigger emails that you have spent a bit of time working on, walk away from it for at least five minutes and proofread this with fresh eyes. Ensure you are checking the recipient list! To go the extra mile, read your email out loud.
9. Acknowledge emails
If there is something to action off the back of an email, and you know it is not something you can instantly reply on – send an email back to acknowledge it has been received, you are working on it and try to give a timeline to set up their expectations
10. Inject your personality!
This is important especially if you are dealing with the same people on a regular basis. You are not a robot, so be personable. Ask about them… how their day is going, how their work is going… You may find something out about them, the company or things happening if their office that could benefit your relationship with them. It will strengthen your dealings and as a plus also make your day more interesting by engaging with those you deal with on another level… and as they say, it’s all about who you know!