Tip of the Week: 4 Common Email Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Email is a staple in offices around the world, but many organizations are finding it easier than ever to make simple mistakes that can be easily avoided with proper training procedures. It’s a best practice to ensure that your team is adequately trained on how to efficiently use your chosen email client to its maximum potential. Here are four of the most common email mistakes that the average employee can make, and how they can easily be avoided in the future.
Avoid Major Spelling and Grammar Errors
The importance of spelling and grammar in both internal and outgoing communications cannot be stressed enough. While a minor error here or there is acceptable, anyone who wants to be considered a professional in their industry should take the time to put together messages that are both grammatically correct and easy to read. This is especially true when dealing with prospective clients. You want to be seen as the expert, and showing that you’re a well-rounded and educated individual will reinforce this thought.
Most email clients like Outlook and Gmail have a built-in spell checker that can be used for a quick idea of how many corrections need to be made, but it’s often better to compose an email in a word processor like Microsoft Word. This lets you use the powerful spell checker that the program provides, and allows you to use a copy/paste tactic where there’s minimal room for error.
Don’t Accidentally CC the Wrong People
If you’re dealing with a medium-to-large workforce, you might find it easier to communicate with all of your employees by simply clicking the “carbon copy” option when issuing statements via email. However, this comes with a risk. When you’ve received a CC of a message, and you have some input, you want to make sure that you don’t reply to all, especially if it’s something that’s only meant to be seen by the recipient. Always be aware of what you’re sending, and who you’re sending it to.
Or, better yet, don’t complain about one of your coworkers through email at all. Email should be a formal type of communication in the workplace, and you shouldn’t be using it like it’s your personal account. If someone is checking up on your email messages, it could come back to haunt you later. Still, letting off some steam in the workplace is often a necessity, so if you feel you absolutely have to get something off your chest, do it in person rather than through email.
Make Sure Your Email is Finished Before Sending It
This seems like a given, but you’d be surprised how often some folks forget to finish an email before hitting the “send” button. Again, you want to ensure that you’re retaining your professional presence with both your staff and your prospective or current clients, and sending half-finished emails isn’t going to help this goal. It’s relatively easy to hit the “send” button before your message is actually complete, especially if you’re multitasking and distracted by your other responsibilities.
This is especially why it’s important that you give your message a thorough proofreading that helps you ensure that the message is complete and ready to be sent. It’s an important part of the email process, and shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re in a hurry.
Be Absolutely Sure Who You’re Sending Your Message To
While the other mistakes we’ve mentioned thus far have somewhat trivial repercussions, sending a message that potentially reveals sensitive information to the wrong person could have far-reaching complications. If it’s internally, it’s possible that it’s no big deal, and can be resolved by simply asking the recipient to disregard the email. However, if the message is sent to an external party, and it contains sensitive information, you should immediately put yourself in damage control mode.
In the event that you accidentally send company information to an unknown email address (which you shouldn’t), it’s important to assess how important this information was and take action as soon as possible. For example, if you sent passwords or usernames (which you shouldn’t), promptly change the credentials. You should also make an attempt to notify any party involved, especially clients. While it might be embarrassing, it’s better than the alternative.
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