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Writing Email
Illustration by Neil Webb

Checking your message


From:

Writing Email

with Judy Steiner-Williams

Video: Checking your message

You planned your email's personalized content, you composed your complete, easy

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Writing Email
1h 13m Appropriate for all Apr 01, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Discover the secrets to writing powerful emails your colleagues will read and answer by crafting your message and delivery. In this short course, author and business writing professor Judy Steiner-Williams shows you how to write emails for maximum readability and impact. Discover how to craft a compelling opening, how to message the right people at the right time, and how to leverage etiquette to use email as one of many communications tools.

Topics include:
  • Using email as a communication tool
  • Understanding the right time and the right tone to strike
  • Crafting strong subject lines and messages
  • Respecting confidentiality
  • Copying and bcc'ing
  • Including attachments
Subjects:
Business Business Skills Career Development Writing Communication
Author:
Judy Steiner-Williams

Checking your message

You planned your email's personalized content, you composed your complete, easy to read message, and now you're ready to hit the Send button. Wait, not quite yet. Once you hit that Send button, the email is gone. Before hitting Send, you need to complete that all important final step. Check your message. What should be checked? Simple checks include reading for omitted words such as, you will need submit two ideas for Monday's meeting. Reading this aloud would have alerted you that to was omitted.

Reading for wrong words. Please submit you three ideas for Monday's meeting. Of course, you needs to be your. Look at this one. Connie Smyth and Seth McMain ate the only security personnel on duty at 8 a.m., thanks. Striking the letter t rather than r makes a big difference. Look at the message's mechanics. The meeting Friday is required all employees need to plan to stay from 2 to 4. This sentence would be identified as a run-on sentence.

The grammar alert would probably suggest that it'd be corrected to, the meeting Friday is required. And then a new sentence. All employees need to plan to stay from 2 to 4. Grammar and punctuation checkers will alert you to many of these more simplistic errors, but may not alert you to other items to verify before sending, including, are names spelled correctly, are correct amounts given? Equally important to check, but more difficult, are content concerns. Have you thoroughly analyzed your reader and included all the information that reader needs to know? If your email is to announce a meeting, have you included the purpose, the time, the place and the agenda for the meeting? If your message doesn't include all this necessary information, you will probably get multiple response emails asking these questions.

Taking the time to be certain you included all the necessary information is much less time-consuming than having to answer individual questions. Is the subject line complete and concise? Will the reader know the importance of reading the message? Also, do one final check of the tone. This is the most difficult to check, in fact, have someone else read your message before you send it. Ask that person's opinion on the tone. If I ask your input on this message's tone, what would you tell me? I can't grant you a bonus if the Smelth account deadline isn't met.

Be sure you are putting in a full day's work. We have a lot of work to get completed. Possibly, you would tell me the message sounds harsh, demanding, and condescending. Maybe, I could revise it to get my message across, but with a more positive tone. Which would keep the reader from becoming defensive. A more positive tone might also help me achieve my goal of getting everyone to work harder. Because the deadline on the Smelth account is Friday, we all need to work extra hard this week to meet the deadline to get our bonus. Let me know if you need anything to help you complete this project by Friday.

One final check for mechanics, correct recipients, complete content, and subject line, and tone. Now, you are ready to hit that Send button.

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