Contents: Benefits | Disadvantages | Etiquette
E-mail is fast coming a preferred method of communication because:
- It's a very cheap form of communication. A number of messages can be sent at the same time for the cost of one local call.
- You can add documentation as an attachment
- There is a written record of the communication
- Contracts/agreements can be worked through instantaneously
- It can save a lot of time as many business ‘deals’ can be worked through, without time taken in travel and meetings
- For busy people, you can answer e-mails at a time that suits you (rather than having to respond to a phone the moment it rings)
There can be ‘hiccups’ with the technology. You may send an e-mail, but are not sure if it is received. It is a good habit to ask for and give a confirmation on the receipt of important e-mails.
There are certain ‘rules’ to remember, when sending e-mails.
- Don’t type in capital letters (that means you are shouting)
- Still compose sentences and paragraphs (there is nothing more ‘off putting’ than a page of writing with no breaks)
- Type in a reasonably sized font (11 or 12). If it is too small, it is difficult to read
- Spell check before sending (for non-trained typists, it is very easy to make ‘typo’ errors)
- Unsolicited e-mail is just as much of a nuisance as junk mail. Don’t send it.
- Always answer e-mails — even if it is just to say ‘e-mail received — I will respond shortly’. This ensures that the party sending the e-mail knows it was received.
- If sending attachments, always check that the attachment icon is on your e-mail (it is easy to actually forget to push the right button)
- Always add a subject title. When trying to look through e-mail files, it helps to have a subject title.