Tips for E-Mail Communication

Here are a few points which may be helpful for mail communication:

  • Subject of the mail should be chosen wisely. 
    1. It should explain the motive of mail, i.e. receiver should understand from the subject itself that why this mail is here and what would the purpose, and even sometime, what is the expected from her.
    2. It should not be too big
    3. It should not be generic like Hi , until you don’t have any other choice after much thinking.
  • Mail should be started with formal salutation. It put the reader in good mood with the start of the letter. Like
    1. Hi/Hello - If you interact quite often
    2. Dear Mr/Ms - More formal communication
  • Writing a name directly to start the mail is not always recommended i.e.
    1. 'Name'
      1. Please do the work as discussed.

  • Set a reasonable size signature with your mail client (Outlook, Gmail). Signature puts a good impression on receiver. Signature should pass the minimum required information to receiver which he/she may be interested.
    1. Putting designation with Signature is important as it will intimate the receiver that with whom she is interacting with.
    2. Complete contact information including phone number can help the receiver, in case, she want to contact you later like on off-days due to urgency.
  • Select a good font for your mail contents. Focus should be on
    1. Font should make the contents easily readable (not stylish). Readability is the utmost concern of the reader.
    2. Font color should be soothing to the eyes.
    3. Font size should be helping for the eyes. So it should not too small that creates difficulty in reading, and at the same time, should not be too big to make content out of sight.
  • Paragraph size
    1. Big paragraphs are not recommended as these make the content boring and important points lose their importance in the herd.
    2. Too many small lines/paragraphs are also not recommended, these break the flow of reading.
    3. So paragraph size should be of reasonable size.
    4. Similar contents should be grouped in a paragraph.
    5. Important points should be written either with new paragraph or highlighted in bold.
    6. Bold should not be used frequently, as it sometimes irritates the reader.
  • Specific Contents can be written in Capital letters only if we want to drag the focus of reader to it, or want to assert on some point. However these are not always welcome and should be used cautiously.
  • Bulleted points should be used wherever writer feel that contents are getting cluttered or contents are related hence can’t break the paragraph. In such instances, bulleted points help to keep the related contents in a flow even if these are more in size
  • Starting the mail with lines like ‘Hope you are doing good there’ add a personal touch to the mail. These are generally suitable only for the mails which are headed to a reader not in frequent touch with you.
  • If there are good and bad both type of news to be written in mail, always start with good news first. Reader will not loose the temper in the beginning and good news may prepare him better for the bad news.
  • Try to avoid debating points in mail; however these can be necessary in some conditions. But mails which are meant for quick decision or information should avoid such points.
  • Mail should be closed like
    1. Regards – A generic ending, may suit many mails
    2. Thanks – Similar as above, however may suit to lesser mails than above
    3. Thanks & Regards – Combination of both above, covering most of the cases
    4. Best/Warm Regards – Put extra emphasis on respect
    5. Etc
  • ‘To’ address line always contains the email addresses of the persons who are the main receiver/target of the mail.
  • ‘CC’ address line should contain the email address of the persons which should be kept informed for this discussion or information. However be careful that CC should not be marked to the persons who are not related to the matter. It is wastage of bandwidth, wastage of resources and wastage of their time.
  • Always review the ‘To’ and ‘CC’ list twice before sending the mail. A wrong mail to wrong address can result in havoc.
  • Keeping the concerned persons from team (like immediate senior or team members involved in matter) in CC always helps, as it makes them to share the responsibility ;)
  • Never draft a mail after heated discussions
  • Never reply to a mail immediately after reading it, if mail is not good for your mood.
  • Never use bad words on mail. Verbal messages can be forgotten with time; however written communication always left a scope to revise the bad memory any time in future.
  • Be respectful while drafting the mail. Every person deserves respect even if there are differences in opinion.
  • Always put the matter on mail, even if it is already discussed verbally or on chat, a brief of discussion will help. Remember ‘The matter which is never written is never said’.

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