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Email etiquette rules most people ignore

Sending emails have rules of etiquette to guide the action. These rules of etiquette are more or less guidelines that help avoid mistakes and misunderstandings when sending emails (especially business emails). Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares 4 email etiquette rules most people ignore.

Taking Another Look Before Sending a Message

The rule basically goes along the line of ‘send once, look twice’. This is to avoid accidentally sending embarrassing mails that you won’t be able to take back, once it’s been sent out. Avoid sending mails the minute you are done drafting them; allow some minutes of rest for every of your email messages after you’re done drafting them,  then look over them once more just before you click send. Additionally, if your email software has an unsend feature (for example, Gmail has an unsend feature), you can enable the unsend feature to give you a couple of minutes to undo your sending of a message, in the event of an error or omission.

Cleaning Up Emails Before Forwarding Them

Nobody likes to read cumbersome emails, we all like it neat, brief and straight to the point. To ensure that your mails are clean before forwarding them, make sure you remove all addresses from the email before forwarding it (except the addresses are essential to the email you are forwarding); clean up the unnecessary characters and messed up lines from the message’s body (email cleanup utilities can help with this); and clean up the subject of the email to suit what you desire or you can leave it as is, if that is what is prefered.

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Letting People Know Their Emails Have Been Received

Email softwares are not Whatsapp, where you can easily know when a message that you have sent has been read by the recipient. It is, therefore, courteous for the recipient of a message to send a reply back to the sender indicating that the message has been received. This email can be referred to as an ‘acknowledgment email’. Even if you don’t intend to reply the mail yet, it is best to send an acknowledgment mail in the interim, pending when you will reply the mail. In addition, to avoid forgetting about replying the email once an acknowledgment email has been sent, you can mark the email as unread and star it, so it will act as a kind of reminder for you to attend to the email.

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Keeping Emails Short

When drafting and sending electronic messages, some people forget that it’ a mail and proceed to draft and send epistles. This should not be so. Long emails can be intimidating, and long sequence of paragraphs with long run-on sentences can be cumbersome and discouraging for many to read. Keep your emails as short as possible, and this can be done by being brief and straight to the point with your messages. If you think something longer will be appropriate, it is best to call the person and have a phone discussion instead. You can later highlight the key points of your discussion in an email and send to the person for confirmation.

Personal mails can be more superfluous but business emails should typically be succinct. You can keep your mails short by breaking your message into bullet points and ensuring each point captures the essence or summary of any action you want taken. Also, be sure to avoid treating many subjects within one mail, treat one subject per mail and avoid lumping it all together.

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