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Effective Email Guidelines. Contents. Email Has Become Ineffective Poor Usage Examples Use Smart Subject Lines Think Before You Click Write for Action Reducing the Load Quality Communications Recommended Standards General Tips Call to Action. Email Has Become Ineffective.

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Presentation Transcript
contents
Contents
  • Email Has Become Ineffective
  • Poor Usage Examples
  • Use Smart Subject Lines
  • Think Before You Click
  • Write for Action
  • Reducing the Load
  • Quality Communications
  • Recommended Standards
  • General Tips
  • Call to Action
email has become ineffective
Email Has Become Ineffective
  • It’s a double-edged problem
  • Too many messages are floating around
      • Half are unnecessary
      • The other half are ineffective
  • Fixing the problem lies on our shoulders
poor usage examples
Poor Usage Examples

No subject line

poor usage
Poor Usage

Action required and key points are hidden in the message

poor usage1
Poor Usage

-----Original Message-----

From:

Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 5:46 PM

To: IMS Operations

Subject: Information

I will be gone all day Tuesday/01-9-01 at an Operations Offsite Staff Meeting.

I will be accessible via cell or pager listed below-

Thanks

Misusing the global distribution list

poor usage2
Poor Usage

Discussion that could have been done on the phone

use smart subject lines
Use Smart Subject Lines
  • All messages should have clear and specific “Subject Lines” that
    • describes the message content
    • specifies if there are any actions required & due dates
    • mentions clearly who the message is for
  • Subject Line Template:

TAG description [actions] [due date] [(EOM)]

use smart subject lines1
Use Smart Subject Lines

TAG description [action] [due dates] [(EOM)]

  • Good Subject Line Examples
    • FYI ONLY: Meeting minutes from 3/14 discussion
    • WSR: Joe Smith – Operations WW17
    • ARs Included: Minutes from MRC, all ARs due Friday 4/1
    • DISTRIBUTE: Program POR updated & related information
    • Bob, Joe: need you at noon meeting Wed w/ your updates
    • AGENDA: Staff meeting Thurs 3/12 10:00 pm
    • Mary: I will attend the WW FTF & present summary. (EOM)
  • Poor Subject Line Examples
    • Weekly Minutes
    • Here are the URLs
    • Re: presentation
    • (blank subject line)
    • Unrelated subject line – sending an email with an old subject line that does not relate to this message
use smart subject lines2
Use Smart Subject Lines
  • If you can type your entire message in the subject line and don’t need to write anything in the body of the message - do so!
  • Type (EOM) at the end of the subject line. EOM means “end of message”
think before you click
Think Before You Click
  • Don’t automatically “REPLY TO ALL”.
  • Take one last look at your distribution list – is this email necessary for all recipients.
  • Once the email discussion goes beyond 2-3 replies anyway, it’s time to pick up the phone
write for action
Write For Action
  • In the first 1-3 lines of your email, specify what this email is about.
    • Does it include action required?
    • Does it require a reply back by a certain date?
    • What information is contained that the reader will find necessary for their job?
  • Use the To: and Cc: addresses appropriately
reducing the load
Reducing the Load
  • Overloaded – system & recipient
  • Use text messages every time you can
    • Status Reports, Meeting Minutes, Trip Reports, Simple Proposals
  • Use formatted documents when necessary
    • Spreadsheets, presentations, formal documents
  • Stop replies before they start
    • If a reply is not required, end your message with “(Reply Not Necessary)”
quality communications
Quality Communications
  • Email is not the right communication tool when “quick response” is needed
  • Use email to convey non-sensitive or non-emotional information
quality communications1
Quality Communications
  • If an email discussion doesn’t end in 1-2 replies and get the results that are necessary – STOP
  • Ask yourself, are you sharing expertise, or just venting
  • Constructive confrontation or disagreements do NOT get resolved in email
recommended standards
Recommended Standards

Recommended Subject Line Tags:

  • URG - Stop everything, read me first
  • HOT - Need immediate attention
  • RSP - Need you to respond, either way
  • MTG - New/modified meetings
  • FWD - Forward to your respective group(s)
  • HLP - Need information, assistance with a problem
  • FYI - Just for your information
  • ACT - Needs action
recommended standards1
Recommended Standards

Rules:

  • No outlook templates or “pretty stationary" when sending/replying messages
  • Reply to sender only. Only "Reply to All" when absolutely necessary
  • PowerPoint Files: Zip all attachments. Large files; use shared server or websites
  • When possible, short messages should be written in the subject line, with the EOM tag
recommended standards2
Recommended Standards

Rules:

  • No discussions in email. When people start "talking" in email, please stop
  • Carbon Copy your manager if you really need to
  • Do not use UPPER case alphabets unless using it as a title. This gives a negative connotation (looks like you are yelling those words)
general tips
General Tips
  • Use Follow Up Flags.
  • If you find you are on a distribution list you don’t need to be on
    • send a note to the originator to be removed.
  • If you get involved in an email discussion that you don’t need to be in
    • ask to be taken off the distribution.
  • While forwarding the message delete the list of email addresses if not necessary
  • If you see someone else practicing bad email etiquette
    • send a friendly note and ask them to correct it
general tips1
General Tips

Incoming Email Tips:

  • Process your email in batches
  • Don’t overreact to nuance in email
general tips2
General Tips

Font:

  • Use standard font throughout the message content
  • Avoid colored fonts in a professional email
  • Be very specific with the use of bold, italic or underline font style
  • Keep the size of the font visible and constant
  • Paragraph and line spacing should be legitimate and visually appealing
  • Avoid short forms or slang (e.g. ‘u’ instead of ‘you’, ‘y’ instead of ‘why’, ‘r’ instead of ‘are’, etc)
examples
Examples

From: XYZ

Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 5:46 PM

To: ABC

Subject: Information

Dear Sir,

With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level. With reference to the below mentioned mail, the issue to a higher level.

With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level With reference to the below mentioned mail.

Regards,

XYZ 

examples1
Examples

From: XYZ

Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 5:46 PM

To: ABC

Subject: Information

Dear Sir,

With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level. With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level

With reference to thebelow mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence therewas no need to escalate the issue to a higher levelWith reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher levelWith reference to the below mentioned mail.

Regards,

XYZ

examples2
Examples

From: XYZ

Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 5:46 PM

To: ABC

Subject: Information

Dear Sir,

With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level. With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and

HENCE THERE WAS NO NEED TO ESCALATE THE ISSUE TO A HIGHER LEVEL WITH REFERENCE TO THE BELOW MENTIONED mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level

action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher levelWith reference to the below mentioned mail.

Regards,

XYZ

examples3
Examples

From: XYZ

Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 5:46 PM

To: ABC

Subject: Information

Dear Sir,

With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level. With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level

With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level With reference to the below mentioned mail, I would like to mention here that the required action was taken long back and hence there was no need to escalate the issue to a higher level With reference to the below mentioned mail.

Regards,

XYZ 

call to action
Call to Action
  • Implement these guidelines in your own email usage
  • It’s got to start with you
  • Take this presentation to your staff and request that they implement the guidelines
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