Ten Tips to Write a Professional Email

Email is one of the most common forms of written communication in the business world–and the most commonly abused. Too often email messages snap, growl, and bark–as if being concise meant that you had to sound bossy.

  1. Always fill in the subject line with a topic that means something to your reader. Not “Decals” or “Important!” but “Deadline for New Parking Decals.”
  2. Put your main point in the opening sentence. Most readers won’t stick around for a surprise ending.
  3. Never begin a message with a vague “This.” (“This needs to be done by 5:00.”) Always specify what you’re writing about.
  4. Don’t use ALL CAPITALS (no shouting!), or all lower case letters either
  5. As a general rule, PLZ avoid chat-room abbreviations and acronyms: you may be ROFLOL (rolling on the floor laughing out loud), but your reader may be left wondering WUWT (what’s up with that).
  6. Be brief and polite. If your message runs longer than two or three short paragraphs, consider (a) reducing the message, or (b) providing an attachment. But in any case, don’t snap, growl, or bark.
  7. Remember to say “please” and “thank you.” And mean it. “Thank you for understanding why afternoon breaks have been eliminated” is prissy and petty. It’s not polite.
  8. Add a signature block with appropriate contact information (in most cases, your name, business address, and phone number, along with a legal disclaimer if required by your company). Do you need to clutter the signature block with a clever quotation and artwork? Probably not.
  9. Edit and proofread before hitting “send.” You may think you’re too busy to sweat the small stuff, but unfortunately your reader may think you’re a careless dolt.
  10. Finally, reply promptly to serious messages. If you need more than 24 hours to collect information or make a decision, send a brief response explaining the delay.

Source: http://grammar.about.com

Advertisements

The Importance of Email Etiquette in Business World

The rise of email as a communication tool has been critically important in the business and commerce world. It allows for instant dialogue between colleagues, clients and contractors, and it’s also free. For many companies, the wide reach of emails has allowed them to access a client base far larger than ever previously conceived, thus providing the potential for increased revenues.

Where paper copies of important correspondence and documents can easily be lost, every email sent and received is stored electronically, reducing the risk of accidental loss and providing a company with records of transactions made, orders raised and other important conversations that may need to be retained for future use.

Within any business, professionalism is first on the priority list. Each and every employee is expected to treat colleagues and clients with courtesy and integrity, and email communication is included in this remit.There is a great risk that if proper email etiquette in business is not observed, relationships between colleagues and clients could be damaged. If a client receives an email that’s poorly worded with terrible grammar, his perception of the employee and the company he or she works for will be damaged.

Proper Email Etiquette Advice

There are a number of components that feed into proper email etiquette. First and foremost, all spelling, grammar and punctuation must be perfect. With the accessibility and ease of use of functions that check these attributes, any errors can be perceived as inexcusable.

The subject line should be relevant to the content of the email content and invite the reader to open the email. Each email is jostling to be noticed among hundreds received every day by colleagues and clients, so writing an ambiguous subject line may result in the email being overlooked.

Senders should write a brief, concise and to-the-point message in the body text—many people don’t have a lot of time to spend reading a long-winded email. Each email should be personalised to the recipient to make him or her feel that they are valued by the business.

Improper Email Habits

While email has enabled companies to market their businesses to a large audience, they should avoid spamming potential clients with endless messages. Instead, emails should be tailored to suit the interests of the potential client.

The sender should avoid ccing more people than is truly necessary. There is little that is more frustrating than being copied in an email when the content is irrelevant. Email should never be used to send personal or confidential information—once an email is sent, it can easily be forwarded on to anyone, and could fall into the wrong hands.

A sender should always avoid using emoticons (e.g., smiley faces) to convey emotions in a business email: this conveys an unprofessional impression.

Email can be a very effective and strong tool if used correctly. Knowing what to avoid is crucial to maintaining professionalism at all times.

Making a case for inclusiveness

Much like India needs “inclusive” growth, our companies too need to be inclusive when hiring. After all, organization are microcosms of society. Therefore building inclusive companies will not only supplement our national goal but also be an effective test of our capability to do so.

Read more:http://www.livemint.com/2011/11/20194749/Making-a-case-for-inclusivenes.html?h=B

Source: http://www.livemint.com

Importance of email communication at workplace

The management of people and information is the key to creating and maintaining a successful business in today’s market. The Internet provides access to the world without the expense and inconvenience of travel. The click of a mouse replaces the hassle of coordinating face-to-face meetings and productivity supersedes indecision. As with most technological improvements, however, there are myriad ways that e-mail and the Internet create problems in the workplace.

E-mail is a convenient communication method that helps instantaneously deliver messages between computers. Paper correspondence is no longer required to transmit documents and other important information. Companies exhibit increased productivity and profitability by reducing the time and money spent on correspondence. Unfortunately, they also frequently exhibit a lack of attention to exactly who has access to certain information, and to whom such information is being transmitted. The possibility for abuse of e-mail and the Internet in the workplace is great. Estimates show that workers with on-line access spend five to ten hours per week searching the World Wide Web for non-work-related sites or sending e-mails of a personal nature. Ironically, while e-mail has the potential to increase productivity, the most prevalent problem related to its use is the reduction of productivity.

********

Below are the Q-A sessions in Rediff chat answered by Amit Bansal, the founder and CEO of PurpleLeap.

raghu asked, Is it required to put “Dear Sir” in the beginning of regular bosses on daily basis and putting “Regards” and “my name” at the end in regular e mail communication?
Amit Bansal answers, The first conversation over an email in the day must have a salutation and signature. Chain mails all through the day need not have salutations and signatures.


raghu asked, When i send an e mail, my boss says why don’t you speak over phone? when i speak to him, he says why don’t you send an e-mail instead of speaking informally over phone? how to understand this?
Amit Bansal answers, Do both 🙂


arpita asked, Good afternoon Amit, Can you please let me know if it is okay to send mails to clients with smilies in them??
Amit Bansal answers, Not really Arpita. Keep it formal.


Manmeet asked, How long the Signature should be? What impact a tag line make on reader?
Amit Bansal answers, Signature is to help the reader identify you if need be. Therefore your phone number, department, location etc is important. A tag line really has no impact at all.


vikki asked, ANY SPECIFIC FONTS, SIZE, FOR EMAIL COMMUNICATION OR ANY RULES LIKE BULLET POINTS SHOULD NOT BE USED ?
Amit Bansal answers, Font should not be less than 11 and more than 14. Font styles should be kept formal like verdana, ariel etc. And if the email has a lot of information instead of writing paragraphs try using bullet points.


venkat asked, while corresponding with customers on official matters we normally write the customer’s address,attn,subject ,dear sir and then start correspondence.my colleague says that in email we should straight away go to subject after greetings. ie no address, attn,dear sir ,sub etc. comments pl.
Amit Bansal answers, That is correct. You use the address, attn etc on letters. On emails you can start the email after the salutation or greeting.


asha asked, sir, kindly let me know what etiquitte to be followed while getting approvals from management level.
Amit Bansal answers, Provide all relevant data required for approvals, use a polite tone and keep the email to the point. If it’s a complaint make sure you also offer your idea to solve a particular problem rather than just focusing on the problem.


Manmeet asked, How to make my subordinates habitual on reporting their work status by email? Many times it is informal.
Amit Bansal answers, Make it a daily task report. You can add that as a KRA as well. In a lot of organizations this is a mandatory process.


saras asked, hi amit, tell me what you call people who sit next to you, but keep shooting emails?
Amit Bansal answers, It’s absolutely fine to do so. In fact along with the email there should also be a word across the cubicles. But its absolutely fine to write emails across cubicles.


raghu asked, Even for leave request, people have started sending request through mail while leaving office by which the employees are avoiding facing their boss face to face. The bosses are sometimes helpless except sanctioning their leave. The employee in such a way can claim that he had informed about his leave in advance. How to tackle this?
Amit Bansal answers, The idea is to ensure a leave request is documented. I am not sure why it is difficult to approve a leave on emails. It saves a lot of time and effort required to ask and approve or disapprove a leave request. Why would facing a boss make any difference in getting an approval or disapproval?


gaurav asked, hi amit…can u describe email etiquette in detail? Also what are the key points to make a mail effective especially when you are writing your concerns to your manager?
Amit Bansal answers, I suggest you read some internet resources for email etiquette. However, when you are writing emails to your manager you must come straight to the point and along with the questions offer your ideas to arrive at a solution. Also, ensure the email is polite and has appropriate data to support your point of view.


George asked, Is there timeline for replying official emails
Amit Bansal answers, Yes. An email should be replied within an hour of it’s arrival in your inbox unless the subject of the email requires some research. Even in that case, you must reply and inform the sender how soon you can get back with the information asked.


3012 asked, How to take Top Management in Loop on important Issues on organisational goals like statutory and Legal Compliances which otherwise take a back seat in scheme of things ?????
Amit Bansal answers, Well keep sending them information emails regularly about it.


MITESH asked, When to Use Bcc
Amit Bansal answers, In official communication within the organization you never use BCC. However certain emails like public announcements, emails to vendors etc can be sent through BCC.


dharmendra asked, Hi Amit, I am working in a production support S/W project.every day i have to communicate to client with mail.Is there any book on effective mail wrting.
Amit Bansal answers, There are a lot of resources on the internet about email etiquette. Read it and try to match it to your organizations working style.


raghu asked, Now a days i feel that because of e mail communication, the people tendency has changed to writing mails. this is effecting real conversation that needs to be taken place and one to one communication has taken back seat. how to avoid this?
Amit Bansal answers, Well at workplace all official communication should be documented over emails. It’s imperative because if you want to retrieve any data later its always easier to retrieve an email rather than identifying the date and time and the coffee machine next to which you talked about a matter. However, in no way brainstorming and regular discussions among teams should be given a back seat.


Paritybit asked, Is it a good idea to review to/cc list on every mail sent when you are replying to a official mail chain. Will the people who get dropped will fell offended?
Amit Bansal answers, Well, if its a chain email and you have not started it, ideally include all the people who are a part of the conversation already. If you are the one who started the initial conversation include only the people who need to take a decision and need to be informed.


yogesh asked, Hi Amit,I often see many mails being marked to your senior without any purpose.The only objective behind this could be to prove that the concerned is really active in his Job.how to stop this?
Amit Bansal answers, I think at times such cc emails are good so that the seniors are in loop about the situations and what people are doing. If you are getting these emails you can create rules in your outlook and keep them away for now and read them later.


dharmendra asked, what is mean of Not follow email etiquette
Amit Bansal answers, You must avoid ‘not to follow’ emails. I used double negatives. However what I wanted to say was…always follow email etiquette.


NANDITA asked, Gd day Sir. I woudl like to know an ideal salutation when addressing team members, which include seniors and juniors.
Amit Bansal answers, Dear team or Hi team is appropriate.


Ruby asked, Hi Amit, do you think it is okay to be informal while sending official mails? sometimes we are sending to our colleagues to whom you speak to informally otherwise or to clients to whom also we have a rapport with. Is it necessary to always maintain a formal approach while writing official mails?
Amit Bansal answers, A good way to check if you have written an email in the right tone is to re-read the email and ask yourself, if this person was in-front of me, which way would have made him comfortable to talk to you. That’s the right tone for your emails too. However, be careful about being overly informal.


shekar asked, In email is it good use he/she or names
Amit Bansal answers, You must always use names. In case you do not know names, its a good idea to use Sir/ ma’am.


ncert asked, HOW TO SAVE OFFICE EMAILS FOR REFERENCE IN FUTURE IN YOUR EMAIL BOX? MEANS BACKUP FOR MY CONTACT O CARRY-ON IN MY NEXT JOBS ALSO.
Amit Bansal answers, I suggest you check with your IT department. It can be different for different email clients.


sunita asked, Hi Amit, I often gets confused on who to CC and who not to. Is there any rule as to make it simple?
Amit Bansal answers, CC is only for people who need to be kept informed about a communication. They should not be expected to respond on that email.


assd asked, Usually old bosses don’t prefer any communication on email, they feel offended as if email is a complaint or proof maintaned by Subordinate
Amit Bansal answers, Its high time people learned the importance of emails. I can understand some people looking at emails as threat. Well for them maybe a few lines of appreciation over email will do the trick. Once a habit is formed everything will be fine. It’s important to understand the importance and benefits of writing emails.


Raj asked, Hi Amit, how would you define email etiquette? Are there rights and wrongs while sending a mail?
Amit Bansal answers, Like any other etiquette, these are do’s and don’ts of writing emails. For example, pay attention to the ‘to’ and ‘cc’ fields. People marked in the cc field are only to be kept in loop. They are not required to respond to the email neither should be expected to. A subject line should not be more than 5 to 7 words briefly telling what is contained in the email. Similarly there are certain things about the salutations, sign offs and signatures that fall in the purview of email etiquette.


aman asked, amit sir…how to improve email communication?
Amit Bansal answers, You can improve your email communication by practicing email etiquette and making them as good as one on one conversations. Keeping in mind the audience and the subject that needs to be addressed.


SarZ asked, So how important is the tone of communication in emails?
Amit Bansal answers, Tone on emails is very important. It’s as important as talking to someone one on one. At a lot of occasions you can be misunderstood based on the tone of your emails.


emailmama asked, What are the five things one must avoid while writing an email
Amit Bansal answers, Broadly, you must avoid the following things while writing emails: 1. Spelling errors. 2. Using long and complicated sentences and words. 3. Not follow email etiquette 4. Not paying attention to the ‘to’ and ‘cc’ lists. 5. Giving incomplete information and not using appropriate tone.

*******

Rediff Chat Date: November 2, 2011

Source: http://www.rediff.com

 

How to overcome communication barriers between subordinates, peers and managers

Topic: How to overcome communication barriers between subordinates, peers and managers

Below are the Q-A sessions in Rediff chat answered by Amit Bansal, the founder and CEO of PurpleLeap.

*******

Dheeraj asked, what are the important communication points while giving presentation?
Amit Bansal answers, it’s a skill. My suggestion is take a course on presentation skills. Or you can read a lot of material available online for good presentations. You can also see a few you-tube videos of some powerful presenters.


rfgh asked, If the boss takes the credit always, and paints a not so good pic of sub in front of top Mgmt. Also if the Boss is involved in lot many corruption related matters, but still in good books of the Top Mgmt. How to deal in such situation
Amit Bansal answers, Emails are powerful documents at workplace. All significant work should be communicated over emails keeping in loop as many people who should know about your efforts. As for the corruption, I think again following proper processes help. Unless you come in line of the corrupt activities you really can’t do much but whenever you get an opportunity it’s a good idea to raise your voice regarding this, however with proper evidence.


ramsingh asked, How to communicate a boss who is showing partility in recognisation of for executed tasks.
Amit Bansal answers, Document work rather than taking it to the desk or communicating over the phone. Emails are powerful documentations at workplace. Ensure at least one more person in your department or another department is aware of the work that you are doing apart from your boss.


Dheeraj asked, How to acknowledge communication gap in the team and remove it? Since team have all type of person (good/bad/avg) what should to be taken care about (in communication part) while building, appreciating, guiding the team?
Amit Bansal answers, I think a good practice is to keep everyone in loop on all email communications. Discuss important issues in a closed room team meeting and do not miss out on anyone. Offer equal opportunity to different people and assign responsibility. Take accountability often and cultivate a healthy open door policy where people can walk up to you and discuss issues whenever they want.


Hari asked, I always fear that bosses may underestimate about my capabilities through the way i speak. How to overcome this? Otherwise
Amit Bansal answers; the only way to overcome this is by speaking about it. See you have nothing to lose but if you don’t speak you will probably be sitting with some very good ideas which may never get materialize. So give it an effort.


sunder asked, Hi Amit, is there a difference from being in control and being in charge?
Amit Bansal answers, both if are used positively can be every effective in managing people and situations. However there can be a negative connotation to it, when being in control or being in charge is derived out of sabotaging or manipulating.


Dheeraj asked, How to communicate effectively in team meeting?
Amit Bansal answers, There are certain etiquette that should be followed during team meetings. First of all there should be a clear agenda for the meeting which should be communicated to all the participants of the meeting. During the meeting everyone must stick to the agenda and an action plan must be created at the end of the meeting.


Tester asked, How to communicate effectively with lady boss at office?
Amit Bansal answers, I don’t think there is a specific or different way you would communicate with a female or male boss. Both have a personality and you need to assess a personality to communicate with them not the fact that they are male or female.


durgaprasad asked, How to communicate with the boss who wants to hide something and not forthright while dealing with the subordinates??
Amit Bansal answers, It’s not possible to discuss all issues with subordinates. Maybe an understanding which issues can be shared and which cannot be shared will help reduce the communication gap.


mgs asked, If your boss has got limitation in understanding,then how to communicate to him?
Amit Bansal answers, why do you feel that this person has a limitation in understanding?


durgaprasad asked, Ok. If you want to convey something true but starightforward thing to ur boss what should be the tone of communication??
Amit Bansal answers, polite suggestive tone with straight forward sentences along with enough evidence to substantiate your stand.


prakash asked, Hi, Amit, how to improve verbal communication skill?
Amit Bansal answers, Best way is to speak prakash:)…on a serious note….try reading aloud and taking every opportunity to talk or speak in front of an audience.


anuradha asked, Hi Amit, Are there any tips to keep everyone happy? Sometimes when you try to please your managers, you look like you are buttering them up and things just go bad. On the other hand, when you chat up with your subs, they have complaints about the seniors and if you join in you never know which of them will reach your managers ears…
Amit Bansal answers, Hi Anuradha, keeping everyone happy are an impossible feat. In my earlier chat also I said, focus on the task and help people understand what’s in it for them. You can create a benefit for each individual participating in a task.


Hari asked, I will have lot of thoughts but i always live in fear while communicating to bosses. please advise
Amit Bansal answers, Hari, what is the root cause of this fear? Do you think people will not take you seriously or is it a fear of communicating? You can practice your conversation before talking with the bosses. Anticipating all questions that might come up.


durgaprasad asked, Hi Amit, I have a question for u. What should be frequency of communication to client when u r not getting response on a subject.
Amit Bansal answers, Hi Durgaprasad, frequency depends on the gravity of the issue. If you are not getting any response even after 2 to 3 reminders or requests it’s better to call up and find the answer rather than over emails.

Rediff Chat Date: Sep 9, 2011

Source: http://www.rediff.com