|Used well, e-mail can boost productivity and save time. However, because it is so easy and quick to do many business people now spend too much time writing, sending, checking for and reading messages.|
|This answer depends on you. Make sure that the e-mails you send are relevant. Don’t send too many e-mails to colleagues or friends as this can take up too much of your, and their, time. Many companies say that their systems crash due to e-mail overload.|
|It is difficult to recognize business e-mail. How to write and send one is looked at in this lesson, but you should not write in the same way to a business contact as you would to a colleague or friend.|
|It is a good idea to set aside certain times
during the day to check your e-mail. Some computer systems tell you when
have a new e-mail - why not turn this off?!
Think about other people’s time too – do you really need to send so many messages? Sometimes speaking to someone is better.
1. No, these should have a friendly but business-like tone (see Lesson 2)
2. Yes, and ‘digital signatures’ are acceptable.
3. They can be, but is this appropriate when writing to your boss?
4. This is wrong. It is still important to use openings and closings.
5. No. If you are using your employer’s equipment they have a right to read your e-mails. Even if you delete a message a computer expert will be able to find it
|Who is the e-mail to? Frank Sony
Who is it from? Unclear, somebody called Pete
Is there a signature? No, no mention of the company name
Who has received a copy? Nobody (but that may not be necessary)
Is there a clear subject heading? No
Why was it sent? To inform arrival of computers (how many?)
What action is required of the readers? To say when the computers can be delivered
Is the tone appropriate? (See Lesson 2) No, too informal and unprofessional
|Here is a good example of the same e-mail. It is also written in html format and not plain text.|
|Regional Director visit 12/12/0 is the best. It
clearly states who is coming and when.
1. Leave request for next month.
2. Information on Sony Vaio PCG-K215B
3. Working hours – new policy
4. Training course next week for everyone.
|The second one is much better because:
• The subject heading is clearer
Remember: the first one may seem friendlier but which one would you prefer
|1. I don’t know what the answer is at the moment.
I’ll tell you as soon as possible.
2. Thank you very much for the proposal.
3. By the way, I’m going away on holiday next week so see you when I get back.
4. …so it’s quite difficult, you see.
5. I’m busy now. Please can we call me later?
6. All right, see you later.
7. For your information I’m not here tomorrow.
8. Thanks for your message.
One obvious advantage is that it is quicker to write using abbreviations. The disadvantage though is the style of the message can sometimes be less professional. Using ‘pls’ and ‘asap’ may be acceptable once an ‘e-mail relationship’ has developed but remember that rushing an e-mail message is no more acceptable than writing a ‘normal’ letter quickly, especially to business clients.
|All the suggestions are good except no 5; e-mails should not be as long as possible! Keep e-mails short but make sure that it is not a one-line response that makes no sense.|
|Here is one example for improving Frank Sony’s e-mail:|
|In this lesson you have:|
|The next e-m@il lesson looks at writing reports.|