Emails are quick and easy to send. But, they
1. Always double check who you are sending it to.
For example, be careful about replying to all – when you want to just reply to one person.
2. Be careful about leaving old messages at the bottom of an email.
To send an email I often reply to an old email in my inbox. If you cc this message to someone else make sure that the old message is not inappropriate; it is potentially very embarrassing. It is of course best to delete any old messages and discussions, and, it can be easy to forget.
3. Save to drafts for a few hours.
The biggest cause of embarrassment is that we send emails in the heat of the moment, which we later regret. If we have any important or potentially awkward emails, it is always best to leave a gap between writing and sending. It is better to have a delay than send an inappropriate email. Often when we wait a few hours, or even sleep on it, we get a very different feeling for what is appropriate.
4. Could you say this message to the person?
Imagine the recipient of the email, is right in front of you. Then read out the email and decide whether you would be comfortable doing this. If you would feel awkward saying these things then don’t send the email.
5. Be careful with language.
A good email should use good English, and avoid getting emotional or unnecessarily personal. Never write an email in anger, or frustration. You can still express your displeasure, but, try to maintain a diplomatic tone.
6. The World still Existed Before Email
10 years ago, nobody used email, but, the world still existed. The point is that it is often better to communicate through traditional means, especially for sensitive messages. Think carefully about the message, and if appropriate speak to the person directly.
7. Ask a friend to check the Email.
If you have an important email to send, it is worth asking a reliable friend to check it first. Sometimes a second opinion can prevent an awkward situation. One email I was going to send, a friend was able to insert just one word. But, it made a big difference to the message of the email.
More Tips for writing Emails