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10 Simple Rules for Effective Email

 

Rule 1 Is this email necessary?
If the answer requires discussion then pick up the phone or get up from your desk.  
Don’t have more than 2 cycles of back and forth between people.
If the issue is not resolved, get up and have a conversation.

 

Rule 2 Don’t copy multiple people on emails.
Determine the guidelines for CCs, not “just in case”.  Don’t ‘Reply All’ unless relevant to all.
 
Rule 3 No unnecessary forwarding of attachments.
Put them on the network or cloud service and use a hyperlink instead for access to the latest copy.

 

Rule 4 Create a signature (.SIG) file for the bottom of your emails.
It makes it easier for people to get in contact with you and looks more professional.

 

Rule 5 Don’t change the topic without changing the subject line.
It’s very difficult to find a specific email if the subject line doesn’t match the content.

 

Rule 6 Use the first few sentences as a summary of what is contained below or requested.
Put the request up front, not at the bottom of a long email.  Avoid adding a completely separate topic at the bottom of an email.

 

Rule 7 Be brief!
Nobody wants to read or respond to a 3 page email.  Talk to them instead.
 
 
Rule 8 Be clear with who does what by when.
Don’t request action by somebody who is copied on the email.  Make them recipients.
 
 
Rule 9 Check your email only at certain times of the day.
Email can be a time suck if you allow it.  If it’s really important they will call or visit you.

 

Rule 10 Remove your name from unwanted mailing lists.
It takes time to delete unwanted email and important emails can get lost.  Unsubscribe instead.

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Use These Rules for More Effective Emails!

To read Part I of this article on Effective Meetings click here

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