My Top 33 Email Tips (Part 2)

Posted by Todd Smith

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Every email we send someone makes an impression. This is no different than watching a commercial. Every advertisement you watch makes an impression on you and impacts your view of that advertiser.

The same is true with email. Every impression we make on others is how we are branding ourselves in their minds. It’s our choice what impression we make.

In Part One, I shared with you 16 of my top email tips and encouraged you to evaluate your email communication for the last 24 hours. How did you do?

Here are 17 more for you to chew on:

17.  Use the recipient’s time zone—When you are scheduling an appointment or a phone call, avoid confusion by using their time zone. This will keep them from trying to convert the time to their time zone and reduce potential misunderstandings.

18.  Type the email first—When typing an important email, type the email first and then add the person’s name. This will keep you from sending the email prematurely.

19.  Don’t change your email address—If you get a new email address, don’t discontinue your old email account. Don’t inconvenience your contacts by asking them to change your email address. Just start using the new one and people will slowly convert to using your new email address. I have five email addresses, and they all come into ONE email inbox. The current functionality of most email programs offers this simple organizational tool.

20.  Covering multiple topics—If your email covers more than one topic, separate the topics using numbers or bullets. This allows you to logically convey your thoughts and makes it easier for the reader to follow your topics and separately respond to each point. Your other option is to send separate emails for each topic or point you want to cover.

21.  Always put something in the subject line—When I get emails from people with nothing in the subject line, I think to myself “SLOPPY and LAZY.” Am I alone on this one? Take the time to summarize the subject of your email in a few short words.

22.  How to deal with spam—Don’t complain about it. Just remove it. We all get tons of spam. When I hear people say that they are changing their email address because of all the spam they receive…well, I won’t tell you what I think.

23.  Be Clear and concise—Say what you need to say as clearly as you can say it using the fewest number of words possible. No one likes long or confusing emails that they have to read more than once.

24.  Turn off or down your spam filters—Some email providers allow you to turn off the spam-filtering process entirely and others give you the opportunity to lower the sensitivity level. I would rather take the extra second to delete a spam message rather than miss an important email that ends up in my spam folder. This also saves me time from having to check my spam folders.

25.  Don’t use an email authentication program—I sent an email to a lawyer I was looking to hire requesting an appointment. I received one of those email validation requests so that my email would be forwarded to him. I deleted the email and found a new attorney. I won’t complete those forms, not for anyone. They must be thinking that their time is more valuable than mine.

26.  Keep your inbox clean—When it’s time for me to read my emails, I allocate enough time to read and respond. This is a time saver. I don’t have to come back to it and read it again in order to take action. It also allows me to move through my emails and keep my inbox clean.

27.  Always put your name at the end of your emails—I can’t tell you how many people send me emails with email addresses that don’t identify themselves and don’t include their names at the end of the email. You can’t brand yourself much worse than that…well, I guess you could throw in some foul language.

28.  Use discretion when you copy people on emails—Make sure you are only copying people who need to be copied.

29.  Know when not to press “reply all”—If your response to an email is only directed to the person who sent the email, then don’t press “reply all.” Show your respect to the other parties and don’t make them read and delete your email.

30.  Know when to schedule a call—If your email is going to be long or complicated, just send a short email requesting a time to talk live.

31.  Know when to pick up the phone—If there is something upsetting to you, pick up the phone and call the other person. Don’t send emotional emails that scar the relationship and cause you regret.

32.  Make sure your name is displayed properly. Most email programs have name-recognition software intended to be a time saver. Set up yours so that it’s displayed with your first name first and your last name last. There are several companies and individuals I communicate with where their names are reversed. It’s aggravating because when I send them an email, I have to start typing their last name first for my email program to recognize the person.

33.  Keep your signature files small. People will see your signature file whether it is big and obnoxious or small and subtle. Do you want to be seen as classy or tasteless?

Email has become part and parcel of our everyday routine. It has replaced the telephone as the preferred method of communication. This is why it is so important to take pride in your email communications.

I want to challenge you to start paying attention to the emails you send. Look for ways in which you can improve your email communication.

If you have any additional tips, please share them with me in the comment section below. I would love to add your tips to my list.

I have never seen someone who became a high achiever based solely on his or her education. It’s the little things people do that make them high achievers.

To read Part 1, click here.

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About the Author:

Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.

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