Email is our most popular means of communication in the office. Whether we are writing quickly to our colleagues or keeping in touch with our clients, e-mail is easy, fast and makes our work easier.
And yet, it’s easy to fall into misunderstandings. When misused, e-mails create unnecessary conflicts that can disrupt our concentration. Unnecessary mail, lost data, … all this clutters our inbox and wastes precious time.
If you want to optimize internal and external communication by email, here are the 9 mistakes to avoid.
1. Chatting by e-mail
Even if a few words are often enough in internal office communication, an e-mail is not a chat. Only write a message if you really have something to say. Avoid “empty” e-mails just to react. Because this often results in a new “chat message” and a lively communication develops that fills your e-mail and interrupts your work.
2. Argue via email
Also popular in internal communication: dealing with conflicts via email. Avoid this mistake! Arguing and justifying a difference via email carries the risk of misinterpreting the content. Instead, pick up the phone, or talk face to face and resolve the differences personally. This way, physically, you free your mind, electronically, your inbox gets lighter.
3. A lot explains a lot
The principle “A lot helps a lot” does not always work. And even in e-mail communication, long explanations are useless. After all, the likelihood that your message will be read carefully decreases with the amount of text. After all, in everyday office life, you only have a few seconds to scan an e-mail and classify it as useful or useless.
4. A message subject taken lightly and sloppy
Be aware that in a professional e-mail, the subject line is the first clue that your interlocutor will read. Always consider that he is busy. They only have a very short time to spend with you. Thus, the need for a captivating subject line that encourages reading. Take the time to write it well. The mistake would be to botch it and bet everything on the content of the email in question.
So choose a subject line with clear, precise keywords that immediately capture attention. You can use one or two descriptive words that summarize your message. If you send an e-mail with an encrypted subject line, you will be unconsciously and immediately erased from the recipient’s memory.
5. Unsent JV
It can happen to everyone to forget to attach the file. Make it a habit to briefly check all information and functions before sending (without going into details). Only then the message can leave the inbox.
This procedure is particularly important for external e-mail communication. If the attachment is missing more than once, you will give the impression of being unfocused and unprofessional to your customer. Even if this impression is created unconsciously by the recipient, it can influence the subsequent purchase decision.
6. Personal business mail
Some email writers want to illustrate their individual style with particularly personal and relaxed writing. Don’t get carried away! Every form of language has its own space and the casual, cool phrase clearly belongs in the private sphere.
Business communication should be formal, polite and professional, especially during the first contact. And to end the professional email, don’t forget to formulate a conclusion.
7. “Dear Sir or Madam
There is no need to go into complex formulations. If you don’t know the person you’re addressing, the classic “Dear Sir or Madam” formula is more than enough. Add their name if you know it. If the person is among your acquaintances, you can even opt for a formula like “Dear Sir, Madam”. You should always find the recipient of the letter and address it by name (and possibly by titles such as “Professor” or “Dr.”).
8. The signature as an expression of personality
Just as in the text of the letter, personal lifestyle has no place in the signature. Be careful not to use a weird smiley face, you can opt for a simple “Sincerely” or “Kind regards”.
However, the signature can also be an effective tool to establish a personal relationship with the customer. For example, if the customer is an ardent soccer fan, you can attract positive attention with a subtle soccer quote or the motto of your favorite club (“South Star, you’ll never sink”). And you have a connection theme for the first personal meeting.
9. Automated mail is faster
That’s true, but they’re also read less often. So you should only send automated messages in exceptional cases, for example, as an out-of-office message.
Instead, use the potential of a personal letter. This gives you the opportunity to establish a trusting contact with the customer.
Modern, clear and informative writing
If you avoid the nine most common mistakes in email communication, you will be one of the most welcome “guests” in the inbox of your clients and colleagues. But despite all these rules, keep your writing style natural.