An email has become the lifeline in business communication. Billions of emails are sent daily from managers to employees, from sales representatives to customers, and between friends and family. It is an effective way of communication that has seen tremendous growth in the way we communicate with each other; it is faster, cheaper, and keeps records of conversations.
However, there is a danger to watch out for as you continue to utilize emails. You may be sending out the wrong message if you lack email etiquette.
Recently, I had a not-so-pleasing encounter, an official email was sent out, and soon after notifications of new emails kept popping up. The content of the incoming emails will shock you.
- “Thank you for the information”
- “Well received”
You guessed it right, they were all hitting “reply to all”. It is an awesome function when it comes to passing important information to many people at once, but needs some special rules for it to maintain its power.
Here are some tips that will help you use your emails better, especially the reply to all function, they did help us:-
Consider who needs the information
Just as you think carefully when typing the recipient of your new email, do the same before clicking the “reply”, reply to all” or “forward” button. Who really needs your response, is it the sender of the message or the entire team?
For example, if the email comes from your immediate manager and copied is the Vice President, you need to reply to all. However, if it comes from your manager to all the staff members, you simply click reply. Most often, the people copied on the email do not need your response and it applies to you, you do not need their response.
Be diligent by first understanding the purpose of the email and then your right response and recipient.
Choose your words wisely
Remember that the internet never forgets when responding to mass emails. Even if the sender is your new best friend forever, you should choose your words wisely and carefully. You have a choice of replying to him only and you can crack any joke you want, but if you are replying to all, you must maintain language etiquette.
For example, using the above official email sent, one of the responses was “I thought you mentioned this yesterday night, or was it just my drunk head hearing stuff?” and then the person hits “reply to all”. It was not everybody’s business whether you knew and talked about it before, but you have made it public and probably embarrassed the email sender.
Maintain professionalism in your email responses.
There are emails in which your input or suggestion is required; it is prudent to be helpful.
For example, a mass email seeking advice on a particular client account that has some serious problems reaches your inbox. What should your response be? Under no circumstances should you shoot the question back to the sender that is not helpful. If you want more information to make an informed decision, reply to the sender only asking for it.
Replying to all with useful information saves your colleagues time in thinking about a solution that you already have, and they can make it better.
Do not add more people
It is rude to add more people to an email thread that they were not included in the first place. What message does it send to the sender and added recipient? If you feel a person should be included in that conversation, reply to the sender asking them to add them or their reasons for not including them.
In conclusion, these four tips, considering who needs the information, wisely choosing your words, being helpful, and not adding more people to the thread will help you in dealing with mass email communication. Your email etiquette reflects on your personal character, which can either build or sabotage your reputation.
This blog was written by Veronica Chimney, Vice President of Human Resources for Etech Global Services. If you would like to learn more about Etech and how to develop a socially enabled call center, please contact us at email@example.com.