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Dec 22, 2010
Posted by V A Shiva

As email is a back-and-forth method of communicating, and it can take a day or more for a response (in some cases), you want to limit the number of times a message has to go back and forth. To do that, use “if … then” statements, anticipating the possible responses to your question.

By anticipating the possible responses, and giving a desired action for each possible response, you’re cutting a lot of wasted back-and-forth time.

One Screen Fits All!

Dec 21, 2010
Posted by V A Shiva

Remember to keep the length of your E-Mail within one screen. Long, drawn out E-Mails can be cumbersome to your reader. They also could result in your E-Mail being on multiple screens. This would result in your reader having to scroll up to reread your message. Making it difficult for your reader to read your E-Mail is not effective E-Mail writing. Avoid long E-Mail messages. Avoiding long E-Mail messages is another way of stating that conciseness is important in effective E-Mail writing.

Email for Specific Audiences

Dec 17, 2010
Posted by V A Shiva

Being aware of audience means taking a moment to think about the perspective of the person receiving the email - plus being focused on the purpose of the E-Mail. It helps to consider whether the message is being sent to a family member, a friend, a potential employer, or someone else encountered in the course of business. An E-Mail message to a family member or close friend usually does not require the same level of formality that would be used in a business setting.

If the person receiving the email appreciates brevity over formal grammar then it might be appropriate to abbreviate or add things like smileys. E-Mail sent as part of a business message should be brief and to the point, but should avoid abbreviations and grammar should be checked for obvious errors.

Out of Office Notification

Dec 16, 2010
Posted by V A Shiva

If you are leaving on vacation or will be away from office for any reason, do not forget to redirect your E-Mail to another person who can deal with the E-Mails you received. Further, leave an Out of Office notification that will be sent as a reply to the E-Mail sender with details on who will be dealing with your E-Mails and when you are expected back. You may also give out the E-Mail and/ or telephone no. of the person handling your E-Mails.

If there is no one you can forward your E-Mails to, just mention in your Out of Office notification that you are out on vacation/ whatever reason. Mention the date you are expected to return. Also, customers would feel reassured if you tell them that you will contact them as soon as you are back.

Most importantly, do not neglect to deactivate the Out of Office notification as soon as you are back. People won't be impressed if they mail you and receive a reply saying the recipient will return on a date that has already passed.

Avoiding Spam

Dec 15, 2010
Posted by V A Shiva

E-Mail has become ubiquitous as a communication tool today. With the rising usage of E-Mail comes the rising occurrence of spam. Here are some basic tips for avoiding or at least reducing spam in your in-box:
  • Do not use your primary E-Mail address on message boards, online forums etc. Use a second 'disposable' E-Mail address for these websites.
  • Avoid opening E-Mails from someone you do not know or do not trust. These could contain software or script which might harm your computer.
  • Do not reply to a spam E-Mail. You are unknowingly just validating your E-Mail address as being currently live.
  • Use anti-spam and filtering software. However, keep in mind that even the best anti-spam software cannot stop all the spam and some may even mark legitimate E-Mails as spam.
  • If you are using an E-Mail client like Outlook or Thunderbird, instruct your antivirus software to scan incoming E-Mail.
  • Install a spyware / malware checker and run it once a week to detect and remove any spyware or trojans.

Using a Signature File

Dec 14, 2010
Posted by V A Shiva

You may attach a signature file to every outgoing message you send. , usually containing contact details and other relevant information. If you are in business you should almost certainly use an email signature in your communications. It is a great way to draw attention to products or services you offer, and you are making yourself easier to contact as well. Other uses for an email signature include:
  • confidentiality statements
  • drawing attention to web site addresses
  • promoting something
  • adding other contact details such as telephone or fax no.

Resize Pictures to Handy Proportions

Dec 13, 2010
Posted by V A Shiva
Do not send multi-megapixel sized images weighing in tens of megabytes as this will only lead to the E-Mail server getting overloaded. Try to keep images to sensible proportions. E-Mail is not a high-resolution medium and you do not require anything more than 640 to 800 pixels width for an image to look good in E-Mail.

If you do need to send high-resolution images (maybe for printing), just compress them using ZIP or RAR formats to make them more portable and easy to handle.