Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Avoid Excessive Compliments

Some people have the idea that the more compliments they throw out, the more likely the receiver will comply with their offer/need/pitch.

There is a difference between being genuine and saying what’s on your heart, and going out of your way to compliment someone. We humans are exceptional at detecting unauthentic phrasings and remarks – even in EMAIL!

Compliment only if you really mean it. And remember to be brief if you need action from the receiver.

Friday, August 19, 2011

E-Mail Can Be Confusing

E-Mail Can Be Confusing

While E-Mail is great for communicating fast and easily, it can be confusing because the sender and receiver of such communications only see words ­ not gestures and emotions. Therefore, precision is central to E-Mail communications. Do not use capitalization unless it is necessary. Avoid sarcasm, as this can be very dangerous. For example, "What are you talking about?" can be construed in many ways: a joke, an attack or a sarcastic remark. Use a clear subject line, signature line, header, body and footer in all E-Mail communications.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Forwarding an E-Mail Chain

Forwarding an E-Mail Chain
When you forward a chain of E-Mails to someone, add a note of explanation before the series of forwarded messages. Do not expect them to burrow through your E-Mail and read every linked message if you just forward them without any explanation. Take the time to explain your reasoning or what you want you to focus on. It is then easier for the person to whom you are you sending the e-mail to respond to the question at hand rather than be puzzled about what exactly you require or expect.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

E-Mail Is Permanent

E-Mail Is Permanent

Each E-Mail you send is more than likely saved or archived on your computer system or on the recipient's system; therefore, do not assume that an E-Mail message no longer exists, even if you delete what you received or sent. Your thoughts and interactions with others, via E-Mail, are archived and saved, potentially for posterity.

In financial services organizations, all data must be saved for a minimum of seven years. Think about what you are writing and what legacy you are leaving through such communications. E-Mail communications can be presented in a court of law.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

E-Mail Reflects You and Your Organization

E-Mail Reflects Your Organization
When you write an E-Mail, you are mirroring your thoughts and feelings in the electronic medium. It is important to understand the difference between writing an informal and a formal E-Mail. Sometimes it is okay to be funny and joking; that is the nature of the E-Mail medium. However, in business communications, err on the side of formality by spell checking, grammar checking and following proper etiquette of writing with proper headers and footers on all E-Mail communications.

For organizations, every E-Mail sent to a prospect or customer reflects your organization's brand. Set standards, protocols and templates to ensure that the millions of E-Mails that are sent do not erode your brand, but rather enhance it through each communication. Within each communication, be concise with clear objectives and the result you hope to achieve. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

E-Mail Is Not Free

E-Mail Is Not Free

One of the erroneous assumptions is that E-Mail is free. E-Mail is not by any means free. There are many direct and indirect costs associated within this medium. As mentioned in previous articles, it costs money for an organization to handle an inbound customer E-Mail. However, beyond this there are other costs. Spam or junk e- mail costs money to read, process, store and delete. E-Mail containing viruses has many side effects including loss in productivity and potential destruction of valuable information. Large attachments require additional space. Chain letters, forwarding of jokes and participation in flaming debates via E-Mail add to these costs.

Recognize that every E-Mail interaction has a cost including your time, computer hardware and software costs and IT personnel time to maintain the systems. Be frugal with E-Mail; if you're not paying for it, someone else is.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Images in E-Mail

Images in E-Mail

I am sure you would have received E-Mails with images so large in dimension that they jut out far in the empty space in your E-Mail window.

There might also have been times when you would have wondered how to insert your mega-pixel images into E-Mails with reasonable dimensions. There is a very easy way of resizing your images without using any software on your computer! That's right... they can be easily re-sized online at ResizR. The following steps describe in detail how to achieve good looking images for the web:

  • Open ResizR
  • Select Local and click Browse... Then select the desired image.
  • Use the slider or the entry field to choose the desired width.
  • Use a width that is less than 600 pixels... ideally, around 400 pixels.
  • Click the button that is labeled ResizR (You also have the option to rotate your image before this).
  • Save the resulting image on your computer - now you have a web-friendly image!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Identify Yourself Clearly

Identify Yourself Clearly

If you are the person initiating E-Mail contact with someone, do not forget to include your name, profession or organization where you work, or any other important information to identify yourself. You could have this information in the first few sentences of your E-Mail as an introduction.

If you are just following up on an earlier conversation or contact and are not sure whether the other person will remember you, drop a few casual hints or bring up a reference to the earlier conversation.

If you are E-Mailing someone outside your organization, it helps to have a signature line that includes your full name and/ or telephone number with a link to a blog or website.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Avoiding Misinterpretation of Date in E-Mail

Avoiding Misinterpretation of Date in E-Mail

E-Mail allows you to communicate with your friends and associates, wherever they are in the world easily. Be aware that people from other countries may use a different format for date. If you are American, you will most probably interpret 05/10 as May 10. No doubt about that. Or is it? In another area of the world, this may be the 5th of October. With some misfortune, this area is where your E-Mail message ends up!

That is why you should always make sure to spell out the month. Write May 10, 10 May or something similar instead of 05/10 or 05-10. This makes it clear what date you are referring to.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Don’t Rely On E-Mail Alone

Don’t Rely On E-Mail Alone

E-Mail is a great tool for efficient communication. However, it is just that - an efficient tool. It is not something to build relationships with - so don’t rely on it exclusively. Set a goal to talk to people at least once for every ten E-Mail exchanges. Relationships are best built in-person, second by phone calls, and third by the written word. Take full advantage of the first two if you want the relationship to grow.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Who Sent You M@il?

Who Sent You M@il?

Quite often, you may find yourself sending E-Mail to someone you don't know or don't know too well. Identify yourself in the E-Mail clearly so that you the recipient knows who you are without a doubt. It may be helpful to add details like how you found out about the recipient or any prior meetings or E-Mail exchanges if you think it would serve to jog the recipient's memory. You may also want to indicate what the E-Mail is about and what you need from the recipient.

Ideally, these points must be communicated in the first one or two lines of your E-Mail. Otherwise, you may find that your E-Mail goes straight to the ol' trash can.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Towards More Meaningful E-Mail Forwards

Towards More Meaningful E-Mail Forwards

Forwarded E-Mails are a fact of life. I am sure all of us receive at least a couple of forwarded E-Mails everyday. It is one thing to receive meaningful and interesting E-Mails that are profitable and convey something that you really did not know about. It is another matter when you receive stale, obscure jokes and links that are just plain annoying.

If you are forwarding any E-Mail or links, make sure that you indicate why you are forwarding it to them and how you think that it could be profitable and of use to them. In an instant, the recipient knows that you care about their time and will appreciate the fact that you yourself took time to think about their requirement and interests. It is definitely a way to further your relationship with the recipient.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Use Color Fonts for Emphasis

Use Color Fonts for Emphasis

All modern E-Mail clients allow you to choose colors for your fonts. This comes in handy to emphasize something in your E-Mail. Use a different color for any particular text that you would like to be emphasized.

Sometimes, people ask me if using red color fonts is akin to shouting or using a louder voice in normal speech. It is not so. Using all capitals is akin to shouting when it comes to E-Mail So go ahead, do not be afraid to use color in your E-Mail. After all, the most important thing is to get your message across effectively and color can certainly be of help in some situations.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stop Viruses and Worms!

This may not seem to be directly related to E-Mail, but it is. E-Mail worms and viruses are spreading via messages that could be sent from your computer without your knowledge. It is thus, essential that you use current anti virus software, to update it frequently, and to keep up to date with security fixes of your email software.

Your E-Mail recipients will definitely thank you for taking care!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sending Group E-Mails

Sending Group E-Mails
Group all people in one category under one group name. When you want to send an E-Mail to all the people in that category, simply send it to the Group. Only the Group name will be visible in the "To" field. Individual recipient names are not revealed. This also provides a degree of privacy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Too Many Attachments? Compress 'Em

Too Many Attachments? Compress 'Em

Do not send too many attachments often. Use them sparingly. Ask the recipient's permission before sending any large attachments unless the recipient is already expecting one. When you do send attachments, bear in mind the size of each attachment. Compress or ZIP those attachments so that you reduce the amount of bandwidth and space taken.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Using The Bcc Field

Using The Bcc Field

Use the Bcc field when you do not want any E-Mail recipient to know if there are any more people to whom you sent the same E-Mail to or who they are. To use the Bcc field effectively, type in your own E-Mail address in the To field (or leave it blank) and add all recipients' E-Mail addresses to the Bcc field separated by a comma. Each recipient will receive a copy of your E-Mail with only his E-Mail address. None of the other recipients' E-Mail address will be displayed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Proper Names are the Proper Choice

Proper Names are the Proper Choice

While sending E-Mail, take an extra few seconds to type out the recipients proper name - instead of just an initial like B or M. It has been shown that using just initials puts some people off. Chances are, they may not go ahead and read your E-Mail at all.

Take a few more seconds to include a greeting like "Hi Bob" or "Good Morning, Jim" and your E-Mail will be better received. Simple... but effective!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Acknowledge E-Mails - Avoid Confusion, Misunderstanding

There are many times that I am not in a position to respond immediately to an E-Mail that I have received. In such a situation, I make sure that I send a short message acknowledging receipt of the E-Mail and inform the sender that I will respond soon. This way, the sender does not have to wonder whether their E-Mail has reached me in the first place or wonder as to why I have not responded to their E-Mail.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Short Paragraphs Make Sense

Always remember: E-Mail as a medium is ideal for short and simple messages.Try not to have more than three lines in a paragraph and always leave a blank line between paragraphs. Otherwise, your E-Mail may tend to look cluttered.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Be Friendly When You Write E-Mail

An E-Mail relationship is not much different from an offline relationship. It always pays to be friendly and personable. Take time to add something friendly in your E-Mail. You could remark on something relevant to the receiver or add a quick comment about their website or work. End your E-Mail with a friendly comment like “Have a relaxing weekend” or "Have a great day".

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Short and Sweet Does It!

Short and Sweet Does It!
Use as little words as possible to convey the message. Your recipient may not have the time to go throgh a long, rambling E-Mail. No one really appreciates E-Mails that have to be read more than once to be understood.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Do Not Forward Hoaxes

Do Not Forward Hoaxes

I get a lot of hoaxes in my inbox. It is easy to identify one. Any E-Mail which claims to offer you easy money or for that matter free money, or a chain E-Mail (E-Mails that guarantee disaster if you do not forward it to all the people you know or care about), it’s most certainly a hoax.

DO NOT forward these at any cost. They are annoying and irritating and sends the message that you are vulnerable.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Message First, Recipient Next

Message First, Recipient Next

If you are sending an important E-Mail, always compose the E-Mail message first. Proof Check it thoroughly and then add the recipient's name and E-Mail address.

So remember: Message First, Recipient Next. This way, you will not be able to send your E-Mail without having Proof Checked it, reducing the chances of any error or wrong information being sent out.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Make relevant changes to the Subject line

Make relevant changes to the Subject line
It happens often that in an E-Mail thread, the order of correspondence or the people to whom it is addressed to gets changed. In such a situation, do update the subject line according to the relevant situation.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Include Alternative Contact Information

There may be times when the recipient of your E-Mail might want to reply or discuss something over phone or some other medium. Make it a point to include any alternate way of reaching you in your signature.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

EchoMail expands into Asia

EchoMail, the award-winning E-Mail and Social Media Marketing, Monitoring and Management tool launched in Asia.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Keep E-Mail Folders Clean

Every time you check E-Mail, go through your Inbox, read messages, and either reply, delete, or transfer them to another folder: Have folders of different names for your various contacts or as per action required to be taken or as per projects. When you finish an E-Mail session, follow the same process with messages in the Outbox and delete junk mail. You will find thhat you save a lot of time by keeping your Inbox empty and your messages organized.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

EchoMail's New Look Unveiled

EchoMail, the world's leading provider of E-Mail & Social Media marketing, monitoring and management solutions unveiled its new look today. The logo colors have been changed to shades of green in keeping with the times. The company looks forward to using more green technology and be a leader in getting the green message forward.

The company also previewed its new software which integrates marketing, monitoring and management of E-Mail and Social Media into a single easy, fast and affordable solution.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

To-Do Lists and E-Mail

At first glance, they may seem unrelated, but To-Do Lists can greatly reduce your inbox clutter. Often times the reason an E-Mail is lingering in your inbox is because there is an action required in order to process it. Instead of leaving it in your inbox, and using the inbox as a de facto to-do list, make a note of the task required by the E-Mail in your to-do list, notebook, planner or whatever you use. The aim is to get the task out of your inbox. Make a reference to the E-Mail if necessary. Then archive the E-Mail and be done with it. This will get rid of a lot of E-Mail in your inbox very quickly. You still have to do the task, but at least it’s now on a legitimate to-do list and not keeping your inbox full.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Use Multiple E-Mail Accounts

Many people make the mistake of maintaining just one E-Mail account and use the same E-Mail account is for personal messages, business messages, sign up for subscriptions and other online services. The likelihood of a phishing* attack or a hacker installing malicious files increases because the number of spam messages is greater when all E-Mail from various people and agencies land in the same E-Mail account. As a result, the user has to be on guard at all times.

A simple way to address this problem is to use different E-Mail accounts for different purposes: personal, business, online mailing lists, and another for when you go shopping online. If you do not want too many E-Mail accounts, you should at least have a E-Mail account where everything besides work, friends and family letters are sent. Chances are that any spam that you might receive will mostly be concentrated on this particular E-Mail account. Be extra careful when reading mails received on this E-Mail account and you reduce your chances of a phishing attack or getting hacked.

*According to Wikipedia, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Use the Right Subject line

Always use the relevant subject line for your email. Never use a subject like ‘Hi’, ‘Hello’ or other general words which does not convey the essence of your mail in few simple words. Also do not send a mail with no subject as this will not give any idea of your mail to the reader and he needs to open it to find the contents of it. This will not only wastes his time but also sometimes annoys him. Use only few words as subject relevant to your email purpose from which the user must get a little idea of what the mail is about and its priority.

Monday, January 3, 2011

E-Mail and Efficiency

E-Mail is a vital communication tool today. However, there is a possibility of spending too much time on E-Mail, thus reducing your work efficiency. Here is a tip to identify if you are spending too much time on E-Mail: First of all, maintain an E-Mail log, and record how frequently you check E-Mail.You can do this with a sheet of paper. Do it for about per week, and see how much time you are spending on E-Mail. Measure it against the average E-Mail received in your Inbox. If you are checking your E-Mail so often that you do not receive any new E-Mail till your third or fourth check, you are certainly wasting too much time. Try a pattern for checking E-Mail based on any pattern you can find in new E-Mails reaching your Inbox. If you discover that you receive most new E-Mails during lunchtime or just before closing time, alter your pattern accordingly. You will find yourself improving on efficiency automatically in a very short time!