(This is a contributed post)
Mastering the art of email is important for any professional in this day and age. Here are a few classic emailing mistakes to avoid in business to keep your company organised and maintain its reputation.
Not using a folder system
Having a folder system allows you to prioritise emails that need replying too quickly whilst putting off those less important emails. Without a folder system, you may reply to urgent emails late or even forget to reply to certain emails. The five folder system is one of the most reliable methods and involves having five folders: your inbox (emails to be sorted or replied to immediately), today (emails to be answered today), this week (emails to be answered this week), this month (emails to be answered this month) and FYI (emails for reference purposes that don’t need further replies). By following this system, you can easily keep on top of your emails.
Failing to use BCC
Emailing 30 people and putting all their addresses in the CC box generally isn’t a wise move unless all 30 recipients know each other well – by using the CC box, you’re sharing out everyone’s private addresses with all your recipients. Using the BCC address field allows you to email all these people without each recipient knowing everyone else’s email address. It can also make your email more personalised rather than making it obvious that it’s a bulk email. On top of using this feature, make sure to be careful about who you reply to – you don’t want to reply to all when it’s a private conversation with one recipient.
Sending large files as attachments
Large files can clog up email servers when sent as attachments and may take hours to reach the recipient. You’re much better off using a link to the file where it can be downloaded from a cloud server. Another option could be to upgrade to an advanced platform that allows you to send a large file without congestion. Just make sure you’re not sending large files as attachments on a regular email platform.
Misjudging the tone and formality
When writing your emails, you don’t want to use the wrong tone and formality. Think about who your recipient is. If they’re a colleague, you may not need to bother with greetings and formal sign-offs, however if they’re a client and it’s your first communication these formalities could be vital for coming across professionally. Over time, you may be able to more informal with clients although you should probably always use a ‘hi [their name]’ to greet. Make sure that you also have an official email signature set up.
Answering emails out of hours
By choosing to answer emails out of regular work hours, you tell clients and colleagues that you’re contactable 24 hours a day 7 days a week. For you own sanity, it’s best to have a cut-off point – during these periods you should use an out of office reply to tell people you’re not likely to reply any time soon. This stops you from carrying your work home.