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Practice Email Effectiveness

The NDSU Center for Writers recently offered a workshop on email effectiveness. Here are some things they suggested to keep in mind when writing an email.

WHO you are emailing:

  • Keep in mind the relationship status. The tone of your email probably would be different if you're writing it to a co-workers rather than to your boss or to a large email list. Think about the personal vs. professional tone.
  • Consider who needs to know. Target emails only to the people who need the information. Copy people who should be in the loop.

WHAT you are emailing:

  • Know what to email. If the topic is a serious or emotional issue, email probably is not the most appropriate communication medium. Question if your message is appropriate for email. If not, consider alternatives: phone, text or letter.
  • Use proper tone and clarity.
  • Remember the lack of privacy. Be careful of what’s in writing since it can be forwarded and archived. Your message is permanent.
  • Write a specific and precise subject line. Convey what the message is about.
  • Type "no reply needed" in the subject line to eliminate unnecessary replies.

 WHEN you are emailing:

  • Consider the time of day/night you're sending. Program Outlook to have your email sent during business hours.
  • Pause to think and proofread before sending.

 WHY you are emailing:

  • Making a request. Is it a reasonable request?
  • Make replies. Aim for a 24-hour turnaround.
  • Acknowledge receiving an email so the sender doesn't wonder.

Linda McCaw, Administrative Secretary, (701) 231-7881

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