Try to get back to people quickly - even if you don't know the answer to their questions. Simply a note to say I got your message - I'll need to check on that and I'll try to get back to you by such and such a time. That way you are not leaving them hanging wondering if you'll ever answer them.
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I can't tell you how many times I've received an email from someone with a bunch of other completely irrelevant emails attached to it from someone else.
It seems to go like this. Person A is emailing back and forth with Person B about various things. In the course of the discussion something comes up that they need to ask me about (I guess that makes me Person C) and they forward the entire mess of emails on to me.
I end up feeling the need to scan all of the attached emails to make sure that they weren't all forwarded to me for a reason. And sometimes there are things in these correspondences that I really shouldn't be privy to (like personal details of someone's health).
Not only is this a waste of Person C's time, but it can a violation of privacy for the person who's private details were forwarded.
When you need to bring a third person into an email conversation, you really should do one of the two following things:
- Start a whole new email thread about the subject and cc the other original party in the conversation
- Forward the thread but delete out all the parts that are not relevant to the third party
Don't just grab an email that someone has sent you in the past and reply to it on a whole other topic. Create a new email, with a new subject line and grab their address out of your address book.
Or, if you can't find the address in your address book, open the email they sent you and copy their name from there. Then create a new email with a new (and relevant) subject line.
I often send customers emails that contain one or more website links. When I do this, I always check each and every link and make sure that it actually goes to the expected location.
You don't want to send a customer an email that says "here's a link to my website" and then have them click through only to find that the link doesn't go to the correct place do you?
Website addresses have to be spelled correctly or they won't work. Best case scenario when an address is mispelled is a search engine result that may or may not contain the correct link. Worst case scenario is a "404 file not found" or "oops" page.
This is especially important when dealing with pages within a website i.e. not the home page. These page addresses can often get a bit long and complicated. In these cases, I go to the page I want to link to with my internet browser and copy the address out of the address bar at the top of the screen. Then I paste it into my email. As a final check, I click on the link from the email.
This can be a bit tricky with mobile devices which often don't make the link clickable until you send the email. In this case, copying the link into your internet browser is a good way to check if it's correct.
A little trick I learned when sending an email that contains an attachment: add the attachment first before you even begin typing, so you won't forget to add it when you hit send.
Also, before you send, click on the attachment from the email to make sure it's the correct file and that it opens correctly.
Check the size of your attachment. You don't want to send huge files that will clog up someone's mailbox. Many mail programs have a limit of 5MB so if your attachments is bigger, the email may not even send.
Your signature is especially important in business emails. Make sure your name and/or company name is listed so the recipient will know who you are.
It also helps to list your phone and/or website in case the recipient needs to call you or refer to something on your website.
Most email programs will even let you include a signature link or image in your emails. Just be careful with images, they don't always come through (especially if the recipient has their mail client set to "Text Only") and you don't want to include a huge image file that eats up your recipients bandwith.