By Dennis Lim
Gartner estimates that half of the 5.5 trillion emails sent in 2001 was business related.
Email has already taken over as the businesses main communication channel. What most people have failed to learn is, manners online is more important than basic social manners. In front of the monitor, your audience would not be able to judge you on your new Hugo Boss suit, your body scent, tone of your voice, nor the little gestures. Good language skills and proper email guidelines are important to ensure that your message gets across.
When drafting an email, take note of the few S:
- Subject, Salutations & Sincerely
Emails are delivered in matters of seconds. Where business communications are concerned, not checking your email at least once a day is to be frowned upon. The wide acceptance in email usage is contributed partly by it speed; do not get bogged down by heaps of emails. Surveys have shown that user do not expect an email to be replied after three working days.
Omit needless words. Some people receive hundreds of emails a day. Chances are the recipient would skip the email after 2 seconds. Keeping the body of the email simple also avoid the chances of miscommunication by recipient second guessing the message.
Sell yourself, your idea, your product. Attempt to cross-sell, up-sell. Whatever the nature of your email, you will be able to slot in a witty sentence to sell. Businesses have been developed from a simple query like "I heard your company's in charge of a new project."
Know the audience. Don't send irrelevant message across. Using email, you are not able to receive instant response from the other party that you are able to talking face to face. You wouldn't know if your ideas are well received till much later. Stay away from sensitive topics; you might never have the chance to explain the mistake you have made.
Subject, Salutations & Sincerely
The subject of the email should be meaningful. It helps prepare the reader for the content, and also makes it easier for the reader to search for the email later on. Open the email with "Dear xxx if you do not know the recipient personally. You may prefer to go with "Hi xxx if you want to sound friendly to a close contact. Closing emails with a simple "Regards, XXX is nice, but not good enough. A good email should preferably close with your business card information. Include your full name, organization that you represent, and other contact methods if possible. Major companies spend millions of dollars on building a brand name, flash it.
Thanks for reading. I hope you like the article so far.
Besides the few main "S I have highlighted, good grammar is important too. Do not type using only caps or use exclamation marks excessively. Avoid Abbreviations unless they are commonly known.
With practice, recipients of your emails will have better impressions of you.
Watch out for the next issue of j-hunter newsletter!
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