Mastering the art of the email is as tricky as it is important. And, with the sheer number of emails that flood the average inbox on a daily basis, ensuring yours is read all the way through takes a certain amount of finesse.
According to Heatherm Huang, who co-founded the app MailTime, an app that makes emails look like text messages, there are certain rules to email etiquette that one needs to keep in mind, especially in the workplace.
For instance, Huang says the shorter the email the better, because in today’s age, people are reading them “on the go” or “as they multitask.” In fact, those in the professional world are so concerned with brevity when it comes to reading emails that 20% of employees refuse to read emails that extend beyond a paragraph, according to a survey conducted by MailTime.
Other tips include answering promptly, because according to Huang, “business moves quickly and so should your emails.” Huang also believes in the power of thinking before you hit cc. “Think about your co-workers who may have nothing to do with some of the emails you send,” he says. “If you're sure someone will not need to reply to an email, don't send it to them."
When it comes to addressing your recipient, Huang says know your audience. If it’s a formal email, start off by using your recipient's first name. If it’s casual, a “Hey!” will do just fine.
Another thing Huang stresses is remembering the finality of emails. Once you hit send, there’s no taking back what you wrote, so it’s important to keep your emotions in check. “Make sure you reread your message with a clear head," he says. "Rapid-firing questions or sending a curt response is no way to behave, even when you're trying to check an annoying task off your list."
Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, the inclusion of playful GIFs is totally acceptable in a business setting. Huang notes that 20% of MailTime’s users use GIFS in their business correspondences because it helps humanize them, and it “also helps to more quickly convey thoughts and feelings."
So the next time you find yourself stressing over an email, take a deep breath and remember these tips.
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