6 Ways to Strengthen Your Email Communication
By: Eden Creamer-Hurdle
Sending an email to a colleague, client or vendor can be an easy way to pass information quickly, check in regarding a project, or share a status of something. With everyone on a mobile phone or computer regularly, emails are a quick and convenient addition to your business practices. However, email messages take away some of the human element of interaction, and can easily be misinterpreted. Check out some of this tips for helping make your email communications the most effective for you and your business.
1.) Take a breath, write your email, step away, edit, and then send. Sometimes, it is easy to come across negatively via email, especially if you are dealing with a sensitive situation. Before you send that email, take a minute to read over the message and think about how it could be interpreted. If you are emotional when writing your message, consider having a trusted colleague read the email before you send it. They will be able to pick up on anything that your recipient may take negatively.
2.) Be careful when forwarding threads! We’ve all seen it before: someone loops you into the most recent message in a conversation, and you scroll down in the thread to get caught up. Buried somewhere in the past emails you come across something that you weren’t supposed to see. It happens all the time, but don’t let it happen to you! Always be conscious of what is in a thread history before you add someone new to the conversation. You never want to release sensitive information, or make someone uncomfortable with something you or another person may have said.
3.) Emails are not the place for gossip. As mentioned above, you never know when someone may be looped into a thread. Save yourself from embarrassment and avoiding saying anything about another person in an email that you wouldn’t say to their face. It sounds so simple, but it can be easy to casually mention something that can be taken in a hurtful way later.
4.) Consider using encrypted messages to send sensitive information. If you are sharing passwords, account information, or payment information via email, you may consider sending the message as an encrypted email. This will often require the recipient to enter the password associated with their email address to read the note, and will prevent people from using other email address and password combos from viewing. For many email clients, you will also receive a notification if someone forwards an encrypted message to another person.
5.) Sometimes, email isn’t best. If you find yourself struggling to come up with the best way to phrase something in an email, or if what you are trying to convey requires to be shown a visual with it, you may want to consider an alternative means of communication. Face-to-face conversations within an office are an easy way around this, and phone calls work well for people outside your four walls. Other platforms like Skype, Zoom and GoToMeeting are wonderful options for a face-to-face conversation across distances and can allow you to share your screen and walk someone through what you’re looking at.
6.) Your email is an extension of you and your business, so make sure you are looking your best. Broken links in your signature, inconsistent capitalization, poor grammar and spelling, and even the profile picture associated with your account can all have an impact on how your message is received by recipients. Be sure your emails look as professional as you hope they come across by ensuring everything is in tip-top shape.
What tips do you have for email communication? Join in the conversation on Facebook and tell us!