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1. Before You Press Send…
As emailing has become the most common form of communication in the work place, it is imperative to make sure you are dictating exactly what is necessary to get the job done. Co-workers can become inundated with extensive amounts of unnecessary emails in their inbox, and bosses can also feel that employees are over communicating when it is not required.
2. Top 15 Business Email Faux Pas To Avoid
There is also a thin line between appropriate and inappropriate messages sent amongst company emails and servers.
As noted in a recent openforum.com article (http://amex.co/JxJC5E), here are 15 faux pas to avoid when drafting emails to co-workers and bosses in the workplace.
3. Incorporating Cutesy Emoticons
Smilies are fine for communiqués from 12-year-olds. They’re not professional. Eradicate them.
4. Sending Emails With Irrelevant Or No Signature Lines
A signature line is a critical email element, but it should only contain all the appropriate ways to reach you. Your inspirational quote is nothing but a nuisance to folks you email 10 times a day. Streamline your signature.
5. Making Spelling Errors
Good heavens, there are a bazillion ways to spell-check your emails. Use one of them—there’s no excuse for sloppy spelling. If your email service doesn’t have a built-in spell-checker, then copy and paste important emails into a word processing program that does. The same goes for grammar and punctuation. Get it right.
6. Using “Reply All” For Every Message
Before you hit “Reply All,” ask yourself if every single person on the list really needs to see your response to the email. It may take a few seconds longer, but only reply to the relevant folks.
7. Being Too Longwinded
Brevity is the soul of wit, lingerie and email. Get to your point, and be done with it.
8. Including Marathon-Length Previous Conversations
Include only what’s necessary. Judicious (and ethical) copy and paste is your friend.
9. Altering Previous Conversations
This is a cardinal sin. Don’t ever edit another person’s email to change or obscure their meaning. It’s despicable, and you’ll look like a slimeball if you’re caught.
10. Outing Someone Who BCC’d You
It’s critical that you pay attention to the cc/bcc situation and ensure that you don’t “Reply All” when your correspondent clearly wants you to be an invisible part of the communication.
11. Ignoring Important Emails
Whether it’s because your inbox is too full or because you’re a procrastinator, when you fail to take action on an email that requires some effort from you, you make people angry. Get in the habit of flagging emails that require action, or better yet, just reply and be done with it.
12. Using Irrelevant Subject Lines
“Thought you’d be interested in this” is far less useful than “Friday Meeting Time.” As our inboxes get fuller, we rely more and more on subject lines to search for relevant messages. Make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for.
13. Burying Your Point
If your email recipients have to wade through huge walls of text to locate your point or your question, you’re less likely to get the action you want. Email should be efficient and task-oriented.
14. Overemphasizing The Importance Of Your Inbox
For the vast majority of us, email should be a tool used to accomplish a task—the means to an end, rather than an end on its own. Checking your email is one of the best ways to pretend to be working. Efficient people use email to support their productivity rather than as proof that they’re working.
15. Attaching Enormous Files
If you’re emailing relevant photos or documents, be sure you’re not sending images that are life-size. Instead, resize images appropriately and refrain from attaching 14 documents when all your recipient needs is a copy of the cover letter. Be judicious when determining exactly what to attach.
16. Using A Gushy Closing
If you have an appropriate signature line—your name and contact information—then most emails can simply conclude with no closing at all. Things like “Very truly yours” or “Warmest regards” feel inauthentic and could irritate your recipient.
17. Replying Without Sufficient Reflection
Although email feels less formal because it’s virtually instant, it’s still a business communication, and it’s wise to ensure that your response is professional, appropriate and accurate. If that means taking half an hour to cool down after an email that provoked an emotional response, then take the time to respond coolly.
18. Rashida Maples
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.