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  1.   AVOID JARGON: Like “’cuz” Instead Of “because”

Jargon can sound “with it” when you are talking, but when written it often loses its impact. In fact, jargon may prove to be detrimental in an email. The reader may start to wonder why you are using the jargon. It may actually seem stilted.


  1.   PROOFREAD: Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

When you send an email, all people have to judge you by are the words you actually write. There’s no body language or voice inflection to help them develop an impression of you. Mistakes, poor grammar, inappropriate word choice all reflect poorly on you. In fact, instead of focusing on the message you are sending, the recipient may focus on the mistakes and miss the message.


  1.   LET IT SIMMER: Use The “Draft” Or “Send Later” Buttons

Because email is such an instant form of communication, it is possible to imbue an email with a tone which may not be the tone you wanted. Written memos and letters were worked and reworked to get the message just right. In the email world, the “send later” or “draft” buttons give you the opportunity to reconsider the content and tone of an email before sending: use them!


  1.   KEEP IT SHORT: Favor Quality Over Quantity

Just as people tend to repeat themselves when they talk, they also tend to repeat themselves when they write emails. People have very little time to waste in business: Reading, or writing, the same point several times is a time-waster for both sender and receiver.



  1.   NEVER FORGET: Emails Are Public Documents

If you wouldn’t post your email on an office or company bulletin board, then don’t send it. It is much too easy for your email to be shared around the office, throughout the company or literally, in some horrific cases, around the globe.


Consider the plight of the UK Deloitte graduate whose embarrassing email to colleagues about attractive male staff went viral in 2009. The message, asking female colleagues to vote on which men in the office they considered, among other things, “boy most likely to sleep his way to the top” and the “most attractive older member of staff.“ The email, originally sent to a small in-office group was quickly forwarded outside the office. Unfortunately, Ms. Deloitte Graduate learned a hard lesson: not only are emails public, but once they reach the virtual world they take on an immortal life of their own.

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