Staff members should embrace good e-mail habits


Justice Simango

Every e-mail you send adds to or detracts from your reputation. If your e-mail is scattered, disorganised and filled with mistakes, the recipient will be inclined to think of you as a scattered, careless and disorganised businessperson.

Other people’s opinions matter and in the professional world, their perception of you will be critical to your success.

Internet etiquette “netiquette” is a significant carbon copy of all forms of etiquette. With the rate at which electronic mails are becoming popular, it is beyond reasonable doubt that the modern users are recycling the old fashion of netiquette

Your e-mail behaviour has the potential to sabotage your reputation both personally and professionally in the market. Formality is a sign of courtesy and reflects respect hence everyone should observe courteous manners when communicating.

The story of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail saga is a fresh example to many seasoned e-mail experts. Among other factors, the controversial e-mails that were in Clinton’s inbox somehow made it easy for Donald Trump to sabotage Hilary’s political reputation.

Be careful with the content you ‘“ype” and “send” using your e-mails. Refrain from discussing confidential or public information in e-mails such as the particulars of a highly business deal. In as much as e-mail etiquette is complex and dynamic because of the ever changing internet protocols, Judith Kallos reminds us that, ‘Ask yourself if the topic being discussed is something you would write on a company letterhead or post on a bulletin board for all to see before clicking ‘send’.

The new wave of e-mailing disapproves not only the sending of confidential information but also bad news. Contemporary industry leaders do not fire a client using an e-mail, that’s an archaic mode of communicating such news. An e-mail may sound informal but don’t stand out by falling in the trap.  Remember, email correspondence lasts forever.

One word messages and incomplete sentences do not advance your business relationship in any way. Instead of typing “Thanks” you can improve your brand by typing “No Reply Necessary” at the top of the e-mail when you don’t anticipate a response.

In today’s era, we do not expect business related e-mails to have spelling or grammar errors. Apart from that, shortcuts to complete words, emoticons and slang have been overrated. Show some business maturity and stop using shortcuts such as “plz” for (please), ‘gudmrng’ for (good morning), “gr8” for (great).

The same applies with smiley faces and emoticons, while these may be okay to use when chatting with your friend on Whatsapp, it is not okay to use these on a business e-mail. Doing the opposite to any of the above will make you look less than professional.

Constantly, we hear clients complaining about organizational e-mails that bounce. This makes it difficult for the customer to get in touch for enquiries. One of the reasons that cause e-mails to bounce is that, when sending large attachments, most of our colleagues do not provide a warning.

Large attachments can clog the receiver’s inbox and cause other important e-mails to bounce. When sending large attachments, you can either “zip” or ‘compress’ them. Learn how to resize graphics to about 600 pixels in width before attaching them in your e-mail.  This will reduce download time. Scan your e-mails and attachments both incoming and outgoing to detect virus.

To protect your system and everything it contains, be watchful when it comes to opening attachments from someone you do not know.  Desist from sending business attachments after working hours unless otherwise.

It is polite to send attachments saved with a logical name. It shows your level of professionalism. Sending attachments with your girlfriend’s name, or the date when you compiled the document is so yesterday, edit all your attachments and give them meaningful names.

Descriptive subject lines will help the recipient quickly know what the message below is about. Some businesspeople receive hundreds of e-mails a week and therefore it is crucial that your subject line gets to the point.

Modify your e-mails, check for authenticity and never use an old email to hit reply and start typing about an entirely new topic. Most of the businesses we admire today glow because of new email communications.

In the business environment, anything put into writing if not carefully revised can backfire and this is why it is important to hold close the copyright and privacy terms of our business e-mails.

When sending a message to a group of people, it is a requirement that you protect the privacy of your list and to do so, you use the Blind carbon copy ‘Bcc’ field. This saves you from giving out email addresses to strangers.

Stay away from patterned backgrounds; it makes your e-mail difficult to read. Fancy stylish fonts will not embrace your relations with other traders; use the standard fonts and font size. Refrain from using multiple font colors in one e-mail, it makes your e-mail clumsy and harder to view and you can be perceived as childish.

Always include a signature at the end of your mail. Your e-mal signature is a clever way to let people know more about you, especially when your e-mail address does not include your full name or company name. You can include your social media information, website, telephone details, and postal address as part of your signature.

Embrace yourself today and panel beat your e-mail manners. You surely do not want to be Hillary Clinton — season two.

Type unto others as you would have them type unto you.

* Justice Simango is a business etiquette and grooming consultant who writes in his own capacity. He is a member of Toastmasters International. Feedback: WhatsApp: +263 717 566 382

Article Source: The Chronicle