Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Guidelines for writing effective e-mail

By Sheridan Tax & Bookkeeping

Email has grown rapidily. But frequency of use has become an additional problem in businesses. Employees are sending unnecessary information to disinterested people and copying others needlessly. Everyone in the organization learns to write effectively with the reader in mind. Messages should be crisp, clear and concise. The following five suggestions, will provide a guideline for improving electronic communications.

1. Edit the message before you send it. Speed does not justify sloppiness. Use upper and lower case. Punctuate properly. Double-space paragraphs. Communicate clearly, indicating the action that you want the reader to take.

2. Make your writing live. Be brief, but neither blunt nor boring. Use action verbs. Vary the length of sentences. Double space and number any points being made. And keep the message to one screen if possible.

3. Always add any attachments before you address the e-mail. Most people have forgotten to include the attachment at one time or another.

4. Identify yourself and the topic up front. Set your options so your full name and e-mail address appear in the From line. Use a subject line that accurately identifies the topic of the e-mail. And put the most important information in the first paragraph. Your objective is to get the reader to open your e-mail, read it and act upon it.

5. Limit each e-mail message to one topic only. You will have fewer problems writing a descriptive subject line and the message will be easier to file. It may also get a faster response.

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