ann@feminineproject.com

5 Easy and Elegant Ways to Improve Your Emails

Written by Ann Burns

January 20, 2022

When the Villains are Beautiful

It’s essential to take pride in what you do, whether it be scrubbing the kitchen floor, making dinner, or launching your own business.

When we honor our tasks at hand, we reveal our sense of respect and the reverence we have for others.

It’s like what Mother Teresa said:

Wash the dishes not because it is dirty nor because you are told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next.

If I set the table beautifully, my husband knows how much I wish to show my love and appreciation for him. However, if I carelessly toss everything sloppily on the table, I am communicating that he’s not worth taking the time for, and I don’t honor the roles I have.

Living a life of value means that we put effort into all we do–including our emails.

Email etiquette might be something we don’t think about all that often. For one thing, it’s such a quick form of communication that it’s easy to “type something up and send it out” with little to no thought.

Also, email inboxes get clogged up in no time if we aren’t on top of them. Do I want to spend extra time worrying about email etiquette?

The short answer: Yes!

Yes! Because if you take pride in your emails, your whole attitude surrounding the matter is likely to change as well.

Furthermore, who hasn’t received an angry or confusing email? And if we’re honest, maybe we’re guilty of sending some of those as well.

If we practice good email etiquette we will encourage others to do the same as well!

The first thing with email etiquette is to know your audience. For example, if you correspond with a friend through email, your voice and style will be more casual. However, if you are sending emails to a work contact or someone you don’t know, you want to ensure that sweet courtesy is at the crux of your message.

Tonality

The internet can make it incredibly difficult to decipher a person’s actual meaning. Is he being sarcastic? Is he being serious? However, we can take steps to prevent miscommunication. First, we should always avoid sending emails with words in caps. This habit sends the message that you are SHOUTING AT THE PERSON. And no one likes being shouted out.

Also, try to be mindful of your punctuation. When I worked as a teacher, I received a torrent of emails from a particular parent who finished off every sentence with an exclamation point. It was hard to determine if the email was positive or not since the primary takeaway was, “wow, she is intense.”

Ann with no “e.”

Always double-check to see how the individual spells his or her name. If you received an email from Maryanne and wrote back to “Marianne,” Maryanne will know that you didn’t even bother to ensure her name was correct. Automatically, you’ve set yourself up for a careless impression.

Reply All/Forwarding

Do you need to respond to everyone in the email? Maybe you only need to write back to one or two individuals. These can be two tempting buttons, but they demand thoughtfulness.

If you are forwarding an email, be sure and attach a note. A blank forward screams laziness and reduces the chance of your recipient taking it seriously.

And hopefully this goes without saying, but remember those emails that asked you to forward the email out to ten or more people? Never, ever do that. Thankfully those odious emails are mostly a thing of the past.

Think of it this way: people will be less likely to read your emails if you carelessly send out emails to everyone. Be deliberate with whom it is you are emailing and what it is that you are saying.

Need a Minute to Cool Off?

We’ve all received rude emails, and it’s tempting to respond immediately with some snarky remarks. However, this is poor etiquette; you will most likely do more damage than good. Take a moment to cool off, and then respond.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to have a trusted individual look over the email if you are worried you could be coming across as angry.

Dear…

Even though emails are efficient, you still want to utilize the grace and thoughtfulness of a letter. Make use of general kindness throughout your email. Inquire after the individual’s well-being and send your best regards before signing off.

P.S. This sense of grace also means you should to avoid slang and sentence fragments.

I hope these five steps will enhance your email life and provide more meaningful connections and conversations! Let me know what you would add to this list!

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