Saturday, 21 November 2015

5 of the worst mistakes you can make when writing an email.

Recently, I've found myself increasingly relying on email as a means to communicate, and in this time I have stumbled upon countless mistakes, some of which are more harmful than others.

Here are 5 of the most common mistakes I've seen;

#1 Not proof-reading
I am constantly surprised by the stupid spelling mistakes people make when they're typig typing away; myself included. In fact, few days ago, I was trying to organise a collaboration with a friend of mine. In one of her emails to me, she wrote "thank you for you're help". Now that sentence alone gives me a really bad impression on their writing ability. Not only that but it shows lack of care, and consideration. If you're writing an important email, make sure you proof read it before you hit send, and if you're prone to silly mistakes, get a friend or colleague to proof read your emails for you. 

# 2 Having an unclear subject line
There is nothing worse than receiving an email with a subject line that says something like "Hi", "Introductions" or "To xyz". If you just want to say hi, then there are other means of contacting me, and if you have something important that I must be made aware of, or that you need to discuss with me, then I expect a clear subject line that adequately summarises the contents of the email. It really shouldn't be that hard.

#3 Not addressing the email, or signing off
This might be a personal pet peeve of mine, but just as in an old fashioned letter, I believe it is extremely important that you state who you are addressing the email to. This way, if you've got the wrong recipient, it will be picked up quickly. Furthermore, it just looks neater. There's not a lot you can do with emails to make them look good, so it's increasingly important that you do what you can. You wouldn't go around randomly starting conversations with people, a simple "Hello, name" should suffice.

#4 Throwing all your information in one huge paragraph
It can be overwhelming if you're faced with an email in which there is a heap-load of information, all in one gigantic paragraph. Emails should be straight to the point, and structured efficiently. If I'm writing an email and it's more than three paragraphs long, I split my email up with headings.

#5 Using text talk
Emails should have some level of formality, and to be blunt, using text talk in an email just makes you sound like a non educated delinquent. You should always write in full sentences that make complete sense. Text talk in emails is just quite simply unacceptable.

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