The Perfect Email

How many emails do you send a day? According to The Radicati Group, over 100 billion emails were sent and received per day worldwide in 2014. With all those emails zipping in and out of your inbox, it’s easy to type out a quick response on your phone and hit send without considering the consequences.

 

Subject

The subject is the first thing your reader sees. Make sure it is specific to the content of your email. Many email providers will allow you to set a priority for your email so that the recipient will immediately know if the email requires an immediate response rather than letting it sit in their inbox for a while.

 

Grammar is important, yo!

We’re so used to texting that sometimes informal text lingo bleeds into emails sent from our phones. While your friends may not mind seeing “u” rather than “you,” your professors and potential employers may view it as a sign of laziness or carelessness. If you are responding to a particularly important email (such as a job offer) and don’t have access to a computer, consider sending a short message stating that you have seen the email via your mobile device and will respond at length once you have computer access.

 

Caps Lock

It doesn’t matter how excited you are, do not type an entire message in all caps. No one likes being yelled at.

 

Confidentiality

It may be tempting to sit down and bang out an angry email to a friend or coworker about something that happened in class or at work, but remember, emails are not private. They can be printed, copied, forwarded and end up in the hands of someone other than the intended recipient. Employers can be ordered to produce employee emails. So before you click send, take a minute to consider the content of your message and what would happen if it fell into unintended hands.

 

Check, Please!

Please, please check your spelling before hitting send. For especially important emails, you may consider typing your message into a word document first. After you have checked and rechecked for errors, copy and paste it into an email. This also eliminates the chance of accidentally hitting send before you’ve finished typing (we’ve all done it).

With the ability to check emails anytime and anywhere, it’s easy for the little things to slip through the cracks. Next time you pull up your email and stare at the ever-increasing number of new messages sitting in your inbox, keep these tips in mind to ensure you won’t have a slip up that could land you in hot water.

By Carolyn Shaffer

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