It’s easy only if you use it correctly…
It’s time to cover email – back in the mid Eighties I had a go at creating a simple database driven email system for the small business I was working in.
The biggest problem then was multiple people accessing the system and record locking rather than anything else – but this was before the Internet and on a very primitive local area network (LAN).
Now the biggest problem is one of communication – literally making sure that the recipient of your email understands what you are trying to communicate.
Sometimes this is easy because the response may be a Yes or a No but nearly every day I find myself communicating to clients & prospective clients of all skill levels – and effective two way communication sometimes just doesn’t happen…
I forget that some people don’t understand the basic rules of using email – and I also see more and more email clients (those programs that you use to send / receive email) not being set up in a standard way.
I use plain text for email – mainly because the content is the most important thing (have you seen how some people think flashing plus 6 point text is neat…? – I don’t) and I don’t think I need to make the email message itself any bigger to get my communication across.
Html enabled and rich text format emails may look nicer but they are also larger in absolute file size and contain potential formatting code that sometimes get stopped at the corporate gateway or spam checker. You may never know if your email has been stopped before getting to the recipient.
Always include your contact details in a signature file – if email isn’t the best way to respond then I may want to phone you – and then I have to go and find your latest details – much better to follow the “standard” and use the signature file to help me – to help you.
When people reply to my emails sometimes their email client sends it back in html format – no problem – but the email client also doesn’t indicate which are the bits that I said and which is the new content.
All email clients have a ability to indicate with the good old “>” character in the first position in the line – but Microsoft in particular have other settings as a default.
So please – when you reply to an email – ensure that you indicate which are the bits your are replying too – ideally using the “standard” method of the “>” rather than any other way. In this way email can be very much like a conversation and we can track back and see the interaction between us.
Most email clients also come with a spell checker – we were involved in a project in Seattle, Washington in 1998 and the main project leader never spell checked his emails – they were classic for having several spelling errors in each line and I recall one email where the meaning could have been completely different depending on the words we corrected.
Good spelling is also a professional image thing – and yes our content management system now has spell checking too…!
Oh and please try and shorten the emails that you reply to – I know my contact details – I put them on the bottom to help you – you don’t need to copy them back to me.
Let me know what you think below...
Discuss this Article:
| Ask a New Question |
|To view or respond to a question, please select the appropriate link.|
| good website||Grant Alexander||15/09/2006 1:39:05 p.m.|
This forum is moderated posts may take up to 48 hours to appear