7 trillion (or 7 lakh crore) e-mails were
sent by Internet users last year. The figure is expected to be much
higher this year. More than half the e-mails circulating through
Internet are estimated to be junk - jamming almost every e-mails
10 Tips to Enhance Communication Style
Who is the recipient of your e-mail ? How does he/she read it ? Consider few issues on recipient's comfort
Your recipient is likely to be a business professional,
hard pressed for time. He/she is likely to appreciate short, clear
message written in simple sentence without bombastic words.
Arguably, the most important part of a business e-mail is its subject line. Please read how to construct an effective Subject line in a previous issue of Faida
Business communication should not contain short-cuts and abbreviations. Even common shortcuts like LOL (laughing out loud), BTW (By the Way), 2 (to), 4 (for), u r (you are) etc. are simply too casual for most business communication. What's hip for one sender may be viewed as flip and disrespectful by a reader. Leave those cutesy abbrs. for SMS - keep your business e-mails free from such irritants.
Don't quote back an entire message when only responding
to one or two points. Delete the excess and make a note at the
very top before starting the quotes. It is positively irritating
and annoying to receive a long e-mail full of irrelevant information
from your previous mail. Use quotes selectively, while responding
to specific question/issues raised by sender.
Never send file attachments without prior permission from the recipient. Besides getting bulky - your e-mail message becomes an immediate suspect as most e-mail viruses and worms are sent through file attachments. The recipient may not accept your e-mail and delete without reading.
Business e-mail address gives a professional look
to your e-mails and at the same time help you establish your identity.
An anonymous e-mail address like firstname.lastname@example.org
does not inspire much confidence. After all, anybody can subscribe
to a free e-mail address and vanish without a trace. One can not
even find name, address or country of origin of the sender
Read over your e-mail before you send it. Remember, you can not stop a mail once it is sent. So, check and re-check before you press the 'Send' button. Use a spell checker wherever possible.
Sometimes we get upset by an offending e-mail and
rush to computer for a 'fitting' reply. Often - this hasty action
leads to loss of sale, termination of contract or split in friendship.
Practice the 24-hour rule in such instances.
Do not indulge in mindless mass mailing. It may seem easy and convenient to send thousands of e-mails in no time. However, do not get misled by numbers - quality is far more important here than quantity. Targetted, specific and individually addressed e-mails carry much more weight than an anonymous mail. If anything, mass mailing brings your prestige down and gets you black-listed.
You must respond to all e-mails that need to be answered within 24 or max 48 hours. If requested information can not be provided within 24 or 48 hours, send an interim response informing him/her about the delay and how soon you expect to provide requested information. You should have a follow-up policy that does not depend solely on e-mails but uses other communication media like telephone, fax, instant message etc.
Happy and Productive Surfing
Dr. Amit K Chatterjee
- Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad
Vol: 5, Issue 9
; October 14' 2004