How To Communicate Effectively Through Email
Due to the ever-growing popularity of social media, email is used less frequently by casual internet users. However, in a business setting, many people still use email. One common problem that people have is sending professional email messages that are properly interpreted by the receiver.
In a professional setting emoticons are not to be used. Therefore, the receiver may have a hard time understanding the intended tone of the email message. As many people know, emoticons are an artificial facial expression, so the receiver of the message does not get the wrong idea about what the sender is trying to convey.
Psychological studies show that 50 percent of the time, people misinterpret what they read. This is especially true of messages that lack emoticons.
Here are ten ways to communicate effectively through email.
Every business emails should have a neutral tone. A neutral tone provides the least amount of confusion to the readers. Therefore, the sender should refrain from using sarcasm, humor and wit. Instead, every business email needs to get straight the point.
Proper grammar allows people to read a text in the way that it would sound. Punctuation marks such as commas, exclamation points and dashes allow the reader to insert pauses and tone inflections where necessary. Therefore, every professional business email should exhibit proper grammar.
Emails that do not focus on one clear point will cause confusion to the reader. If your messages bounce from one point or subject to the next, you must practice coherency. It is ok for professional emails to touch two or more points, but each point should be well-organized and explained.
Along with coherency, if emails are not properly structured, readers will have a hard time discerning the point of the message; this even applies to higher levels of management.
#5. Understand your reader
In some cases, there is a place for humor, sarcasm and wit in email messages. However, you must understand your reader before attempting such tones.
#6. Keep things simple
Avoid sending one email message that addresses different recipients. Yes, this is an easy way to save time; however, it creates confusion. If you have the time, you should send individual messages to your recipients.
#7. Proofread your messages
Before any message is sent, it should first be thoroughly proofread. Tone, grammar and clarity should be on every sender’s checklist.
#8. Use a professional tone
It is easy for personal tone to show in email messages. However, use a neutral and professional style of writing. Too much of a personal voice may create confusion to readers who don’t understand the sender’s personality.
#9. When possible, use emoticons
Typically, emoticons are not to be used in professional emails. However, if they are acceptable, use them. Each emoticon displays a certain facial expression, which accurately shows the intended tone of the sentence.
#10. Substitute phrases for single words
Studies show that the longer a text is, the more likely a reader will misinterpret its meaning. Therefore, when possible, substitute wordy phrases for single words. Wordiness is a major reason many people miss the point of any email, article or message.
Keep these points in mind when composing an email. In a professional setting, your readers should interpret the meaning behind your email on the first read.
Fred is a freelance tech writer. He bases this article on experiences he has had in a professional setting stressing the importance of email etiquette and email security solutions like exchange anti-spam.