Email is non-arguably the cheapest means of communication today. The MailChimp email marketing service sends about 2 billion emails every month. The popularity of email however comes at a cost in the decline in standards in the quality of written communications.
Most people do not spend time reviewing their emails as they would reading a letter they have written with pen and paper for the regular postal service. That is however justified by the fact that we are living in a society where everything that must be done must be done and as fast as possible. People sacrifice standards for speed. Now it is acceptable to have the following abbreviations in (business) emails: r (are), 2 (to), thks (thanks), rgs (regards), and the list goes on and on… Almost every English word of more than 5 letters with at least one vowel has a short form of it.
These kinds of “shortcuts” came up with the need to say more with less words in text messaging (SMS) communications. They have now conquered the world of emails, even though emails do not have the same size constraints as text messages.
Below is a good checklist for improving the quality of your email communications:
- Write a SMART subject line after you have written your message
- Include an appropriate greeting and a closing section
- Use modern business language and simple sentences instead of old-fashioned, long-winded writing.
- Never use ALL CAPITALS for any part of your message.
- Learn the importance of structuring your message logically.
- Write as if you are having a conversation with the recipient.
- Consider the other person’s feelings and make sure you use appropriate tone.
- Format messages attractively, using full words, full sentences, and with a space between each paragraph.
- Use email as a tool to enhance communication – not as a replacement for communication.
- If an email exchange is getting rather long or complicated, it may be more effective to pick up the phone.
Note: The checklist is from the book: Model Business Letters, E-mails & Other Business Documents