Recently I found myself turning into “That Guy” when it comes to responding to the numerous emails I receive each day. Instead of the well thought-out, professional emails, I used to write in my earlier PR days, some of my recent responses have looked like this: “Ok, will get back soon” … “Thx” … “sure” … “Pls send info.” I apologize if you are reading this and recently received one of those emails from me… it was a busy summer.
I was curious to see what some professionals thought, or if there had been any recent articles or blogs written on the subject of email etiquette and correspondence. I wanted to see if anyone had advice for how to manage my growing list of emails in my inbox and if anyone could give me a sense of what proper email etiquette should be.
I found this recent blog - Email etiquette: how long is too long to reply? - written by Amber MacArthur of The Globe and Mail, interesting. Seems she’s having the same issues as me, and I’m sure I’m not alone in a society that has us constantly having to respond to various email accounts, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
I’m going to continue to work on this Email thing in my professional career. It’s not going anywhere and it’s a critical form of communication in our society, so I think it’s important for everyone to master. For now, here are a few tips I can pass along which get me through some email issues…
- Avoid the email train. If you sense an issue arising or an email has numerous clarifying questions, pick up the phone and call the person. This stops the email train in its tracks, and usually I find there isn’t even an issue or questions to begin with.
- Try not to get offended by a short response and don’t base a person’s personality off of email. If you are going to be short, be professional and be open to the fact that we are all very busy people. Email was invented to serve as a more casual way to communicate.
- If a reply requires some thought and you do not have time to respond, send the person a short email stating you received the message and let them know you will respond after you’ve given some thought to their question.