Written by Sanjutha Ravindrakumaran
The danger of email familiarity is that everyone falls in recurring mistakes that could be understood as un-professionalism.
Well then, welcome back to our topic on email writing! This time, it is focused more on the real-life experience and scenario. It’s not all about the email format and language, but we should also think the factors behind, in which all in all we could create a manual.
Though some codes and short forms don’t give the perfect idea, it’s better to know some of the commonly used in most organizations.
Just imagine, say you are a newly joined employee to an organization or working on-site for another organization and they already have a culture of using abbreviations on emails.
This is a pain in the head to understand the meaning and work accordingly. Every time you may not be able to google or ask from someone else, right?
This is the best time to get to know such situations, much with abbreviations and slangs. Before digging into that interesting part we’ll see some examples below, as mentioned, when drafting an email.
How many of us change the subject whenever an email thread is shifted to a completely different topic? It’s my personal experience, for around more than a year, I held myself back into changing the subject line, even though the subject was really far from what was first intended. Also, I faced some issues when I try to find the information from the long conversation. I had to check all the conversation or had to check all the way back of the thread. Though it’s applicable in Google, Yahoo, or Outlook email service, it should have been set up on a separate e-mail topics.
It’s an important reminder to change your subject when the real subject is getting changed.
For example, the subject could be “Solution discussion” among the vendor and client. Later, in the final stages, it could get approved by a director. Even later, one might continue the same for raising PO from the client. Even after, it can be conversation on signing agreements and backwards vendor might be raising invoice. Some might assert that in order to have all the discussion be in the same email thread, the whole discussion should be in the same loop. But sadly, many don’t change the subject line.
It’s a very important factor to change the subject closely relevant to what the content is. It does not only help relevancy, but also for tracking and searching.
We are used to salute the recipient with ‘Dear’ or ‘Hi’. The more professional way for salutation is through a ‘Dear,’ or ‘Good day’ rather than ‘Hi’ or ‘Hey’. But based on studies, 90% of the emails are just appropriate to send with an informal salutation. But be wary for other salutations in regards to the situation or cause (i.e., talking to a client or customer).
We have discussed on email format how it should be in the previous write up. It is very important to focus on the format. Subject/Salutation/Content/Signature seem the fundamentals. You can see an ad hoc culture of sharing a short content or a note through subject line, without any content message. It happens to get the attraction of the recipient, with his/her busy schedules.
Collaboratively working on a document
Attachments are not recommended to share via email when you are working on a document collaboratively. Content management principle says everyone should observe content versioning (editing documents as new documents) until everyone finalized and have the document approved. Better option for content versioning is to share the documents via a common location like OneDrive.
When you try to send something using a hyperlink, it’s better to share as “Check this” using edit hyperlink option, rather than providing the whole, long and messy link such as, “https://aboutmesanjutha.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/about-me/”
Signature matters as it matters in legal concerns. It should provide your contact information and relevant qualification when it comes to official emails. It’s preferable to have another relevant link to know you more. Still for internal conversations and personal emails, you can have simply your name to avoid unnecessary introduction or self-marketing.
Is it important to thank in each of every email? No, it’s not at all required unless you really need to thank. If you received any information or required data, then you can thank the recipient. Other than that, it won’t carry any meaning to the content. In some instance if you feel, you would like to show your politeness to the recipient on reading your email, that could make sense, but for professional emails, it won’t add any value.
Unless it’s required, it can be sent with a proper greeting or with an email expecting for an immediate reply.
You should be clear on whom you are sending the email. You may think that if you CC someone, that person would go through each and every word of your email, and respond. No! You should thoroughly decide which people should be included in ‘To’ to respond; though people in ‘CC’ can, it’s not a must. Many people skip the copied email, unless any issue arises or the receiver sees the need.
People in the CC (Carbon Copy or Courtesy Copy) are mostly the heads, reporting to a personnel or the people who could benefit with the content or could be the people who are accountable for the decision made by the responsible individuals.
BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) is all about serious matters, and really when you don’t want the recipients to know with whom you are sharing the same email or you don’t want even let know who the other recipients are. Another use case, you can simply thank your boss to introduced you to any new contact. In such case your boss will not be bombarded with number of emails. It’s also can be used to send only one email than sending a loop of mails shoots “to” and “from”. BCC can be used to organize an event until the discussion, so it’s indirectly notify the event is in the planning stage.
In an organization, a guy kept on sending emails containing adult contents to some of the ladies in the organization. He must have forgot to send them from an unknown email. However, what his expectation was that the recipients won’t enquire on this with other gentlemen or ladies in the office. He would have not confronted, either he should send emails to personal emails or send with ‘To’ content. As he BCC copied all the participants, it’s understood that the content was an inappropriate and it has already been taken as argument.
OOO – Out of Office, it’s a general abbreviation that we should be familiar of. OOO email should be set up when you are going on a leave or on vacations in two days or more. It is recommended to send OOO emails to set out their expectations that the receiver can have an immediate response. It’s advised to have separate formats for internal employees and clients/external people. You can even have 3 sets, for immediate working team, other staffs and external.
Don’t forget to add how they can contact you, whom they need to get on your absence and when you will be back to the office.
You can send emails with high/medium or low importance which helps the recipients to prioritize the emails received. One step more, you can check whether the email has been received or any attachments/documents have been opened. You can request for an email receipt from the receiver even. These all settings are readily available, it’s up to your need how you are going to use of them.
Sent via mobile
It’s very easy and flexible to send emails via mobile than log into system and look for emails to response. Effectiveness matters but your professionalism also greatly matters. Always add that the email was replied/sent via phone and also add an excuse for typographical errors, as you auto correct options can leave you at a point to send something erroneously.
So, be professional and circulating contesting/harassing emails makes you to stand as a victim, though you send via BCC it may lead you to stand as an unethical personal, among your colleagues. Be smart and be professional.
Now let’s get into the interesting part of this write up: Let’s learn the abbreviations that are currently used in the corporate world
NRN – No Reply Necessary, it’s used whenever you inform to a particular group or company something via email and if it’s just a notice message.
OOO – Out Of Office
LET – Leave Early Today
EOD – End Of Day
EOW – End Of Week
EOM – End of Message
PRB – Please Reply By
HTH – Hope That Helps, it’s used when you share any information or links to refer.
WFH – Working From Home
TLTR – Too Long To Read
TL; DR – Too Long Didn’t Read
Y/N – Yes Or No
SFW – Safe For Work, it’s used when you share some sites/ links seems like unprotected to open or view.
LMK – Let Me Know
IMO – In My Opinion
BTW – By The Way
IDK – I Don’t Know
FWIW – For What It’s Worth
FYI – For Your Information
TYT – Take Your Time.
It’s better to something than knowing nothing. Let’s take it positive and have some casual chats with the short message users.
With all these tips in the manual – now, rewrite that draft email!