Showing items tagged with "email etiquette" - 62 found.

Email etiquette – opening and closing an email

Posted Wednesday January 19th, 2011, 9:30 am by

When you open an email which do you prefer, Hi, Dear, Fred or no salutation?  A recent survey we conducted reveled that ‘Dear’ is still regarded as the most professional greeting (66%) followed by Name (33%) and  Hi (13%).  No greeting is felt to be unprofessional and sloppy.

OK, so you open with a professional salutation, the content is grammatically correct and there are no spelling errors. (We should be so lucky!) What about how you close the email?  What do you prefer, Cheers, your sincerely, kind regards or nothing?

Our survey revealed that Cheers is not professional (55%) and seen as sloppy by some (13%) as are smiley icons (75%).  The most professional signs off are either kind regards or best wishes (67%).

Am I just a grumpy old women, part of a bye gone era of business (Generation X) or a seasoned business women trying to maintain standards?

What is you option on the best email etiquette to open and close an email?

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Email etiquette – how to win and lose customers

Posted Monday January 17th, 2011, 9:30 am by

By email (as the sender), how long do you have to make an impression on the recipient?  Maximum, five seconds, before they form an opinion of you (the sender), for better or worse. That goes for every aspect of business be it internal and external communications, eg job applications, journalists, prospects, etc.   Often it’s for worse.  Stefan Stern’s article ‘Is the vehicle registered in your name‘ prompted me to reflect on the current state of email etiquette or rather lack of it.

How you open, close and construct an email is your email dress code.  Sloppy email, sloppy you.  Professional email and it makes one feel I’d like to do business with this person.  The way an email is framed can make or break a business relationship.

Let us not forget that for most businesses an email is still  a formal communication.  Indeed, it bears your business’s/organisation’s name, not to mention your own name.

Yet, when was the last time you had any email etiquette training?  Never.  You are not alone.  Here is the most commonly and frequently used business communications tool and yet our surveys show that less than 30% of business people are ever given any guidelines on what is acceptable and what is not.  In part of course the standard of today’s email etiquette is also a reflection of the appalling standard of school teaching.  But that’s  another story.

For example what guidelines are there in your organisation/business on:

  • How to open and close an email
  • Grammar and spelling
  • Phraseology to use which reflects your business
  • Use of jargon
  • Text speak and use of emoticons.
  • Content of the signature block.

These are some of the items covered in this week’s blogs.

Meanwhile, please feel free to use my Email Etiquette Checklist to audit a few of the emails you recently sent.

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Email training and Outlook skills

Posted Wednesday January 12th, 2011, 5:05 pm by

When was the last time you were trained to use email and your email software, eg Outlook, Notes, Gmail Priority Inbox etc?  Never.  Once maybe years ago and since then the software has been upgraded several times.  You are not alone.

Some would say how to use the software is obvious but I disagree.  One hours training is worth at least five hours extra productivity.  Email is one it not the most used business tool.  Yet few have ever been shown how to use the software properly, let alone any email best practice, email etiquette and techniques to manage email overload.

Most email software contains a wealth of functions to help you save time.  For example, rules (filters), colour (categories) to highlight key incoming emails, the facility to create templates of re-usable text, keyboard shortcut keys etc.  Yet when I run workshops and coach clients it never ceases to amaze me how few people know how to use these functions.

You can use my Outlook IT Fitness Check to audit your level of skills. For non-Outlook users, it will at least highlight what functions might also be buried in your software.

What’s your favorite software time saver?

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Email Out of Office Messages Tell All

Posted Monday January 10th, 2011, 6:30 pm by

Do you realise how much you reveal in your Out-of-Office message?   Of the 135 recent Out-of-Office Message, six percent were past their sell by date which suggest a lack of attention to detail on the recipients part.  Fifteen percent gave away information about clients and projects handled by the organisation, about twenty percent were insecure and left the person open to cyber crime and the rest were fine.

What makes a good safe and secure Out-of-Office message? Indeed why bother to pay attention to what your message says?  A simple message is best which just states that you are not in the office and gives one point of contact in the event of an emergency.  Any more (eg you are on holiday, other projects you are handling etc) and you leave yourself and the organsiation open to a breach of security and confidentiality.

It would not take a cyber criminal ten minutes to find out where you live and bing – burglary.

Every email from you conveys and creates an image about you in the recipient’s mind.  A careless, frivolous message can convey a sloppy, unprofessional image of you and a sloppy organisation.

Does your organisation provide adequate guidelines on the use of Out-of-Office messages?  If so what?

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Email Etiquette: Out of Office Messages best practice

Posted Friday December 24th, 2010, 1:27 pm by

Have you set an Out Of Office message which meets the 3S standard: simple, short and secure.

Simple and short – just one point of contact and please, please make sure that person is around.  More than one point of contact and you might find yourself divulging confidential information and increasing the risk of a breach of business security.  Secure too, because it doesn’t immediately alert any cyber criminals to a potentially empty home.

Email etiquette for the best Out Of Office messages – ‘I will not be in the office between X and Y.   If your email is urgent, please contact A, otherwise I will deal with it on my return.’  That’s the polite message.

I do know some people whose message reads ‘I will not be in the office between X and Y.   If your email is urgent, please re-send it on A, as all incoming emails during this period are automatically being deleted’.

Actually, I think that’s a great way to manage the email overload.  What do you think?

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