Email has become the most efficient way to communicate in the real world. It’s instantaneous, available worldwide, and accessible on a computer, tablet, phone, and watch. However, just because it is efficient doesn’t mean it’s ok for it to look like it took two seconds to type. There’s still important things to consider as you build professional relationships over email.
- The Exclamation Point. People want to be liked, and since it’s hard to interpret tone in email, it seems common sense to add an exclamation point so we seem friendly and outgoing- Hi Joe! So good to hear from you! On the other hand, it’s important to remember that you’re building a professional relationship, not a personal/friendly one, so hold back on the “!!!!!” whenever you can.
- The “They Said WHAT?” Sometimes you will get an email that you don’t want to read. It’s mean, or demanding, or demeaning. Before you respond, first take a deep breath. Remember from our point above that tone can’t be interpreted solely from words. Then, respond back with a focus on “we.” “Let’s work together so we can provide the best plan possible for our clients.”
- The Follow Up. No one ever wants to seem pushy. But sometimes you just have to send a reminder. Keep it short and friendly, and specific. “Hi Sam, I wanted to know if a date had been set for our fundraiser in the spring. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. I’m looking forward to working with you on this.”
Career Contessa has other wonderful, helpful professional email tips. You can read them here: http://www.careercontessa.com/conversations/quit-the-bad-emailing/ What other email suggestions do you have?