|A Brief Guide to Business Email - tuesday 2005-01-25 2127||last modified 2005-01-25 2127|
|TrackBacks Sent: None|
There are several guides to using email for business out there. Here's mine.
Use proper English. Or whatever your language of correspondence may be. There are guidelines to English grammar, syntax, and spelling for a reason: you can understand the message when it fits the rules. Anything less risks incomprehensibility.
Use plain text. Formatting text is unnecessary if you've written it properly. Your handwritten memos were useful without bold and italics. They are just as effective when written in proper language over email; 'bold' and 'italic' are not elements of language. Try to forgo the underlining and all-caps. Trust your own writing skills and your readers' reading skills to pick out the main points. Understand that not everybody is going to see your red, green, and blue monstrosity; people will view the Internet differently, you'll only hit everbody for certain with plain text.
Be concise. Your readers will have an even easier time understanding the point if there's less to read.
Forgo attachments. Put your non-textual content on the web and let them fetch it themselves. Take your textual content and put it directly in the email.
Forgo attachments to lists. Email servers need to handle email, not your 50MB presentation sent to 200 people. Leave that to a web server.
Use security if needed. If you think putting a document on the web is unsafe, you shouldn't be using email - anybody can read all of it. Reliable encryption software exists, make use of it.