Most small businesses rely on email as their preferred form of communication. Either internally or externally to clients, customers and suppliers, email is the go-to format we cannot do without. Our obsession with it is no surprise – it’s quick, simple and provides a paper trail. But its convenience doesn’t always mean relaxed. In fact, poor email communication not only can hurt your reputation, distort your intention and can even cost you customers.

Here is how we can be smart with the business emails:

Manage your inbox
Your inbox is only for items you still need to access. Once you’re done with an email, you should delete it or archive it. If you were to  imagine your inbox as physical letters, you would never let it grow to a 6-foot high stack of mess. Instead, you’d either throw them out or do the filing. It is not hard to identify which ones to keep for reference, so create inbox folders and sort them out accordingly. As emails arrive and are action-ed on, move them to the relevant folder or the trash bin.

Write messages professionally
Stepping across the line from casual to careless is easy if you skip the basic elements of good business writing. Grammar will always be important and the sentence structure of your language hasn’t changed. All email programs include a spell-checker, many of which draw attention to errors immediately, so there’s really no excuse to miss. Typing in all CAPS is seen as yelling and rude, and break your text into paragraphs makes your message so much more readable. One last thing before you click the send button, do a quick glance over your email to ensure that tone of the email is appropriate and no mistakes have snuck through.

Embrace the subject line
Many emails are missed because the subject line was left empty or meant nothing to the receiver. Writing these attention-grabbing words can be tricky, but if you can simply summarize the message, you should do fine. Just remember to keep them under 5-8 words so they fit on mobile displays.

Be smart with attachments
Keep attachments small – under 2MB – so that they do not clog up the email server. For larger attachments, share the file location as a link using cloud storage. When you have been sent an attachment you would like to keep, save the file and then delete the email. And as always, be careful with unexpected attachments, especially from unknown senders. It’s more important than ever to scan all attachments with an antivirus before opening.

Keep your CC/BCC under control
The carbon copy (CC) and blind carbon copy (BCC) let you send the email to additional recipients, more as an FYI than anything else. Rule of thumb is, use BCC if you are using an email list or privacy is an issue. But before you add extra people to the email, make sure the email IS relevant to them. There’s nothing worse than being looped in a pointless email chain

Need help managing your emails? Storage of emails? Email archives? Perhaps we can help!

ManagedIT.SG is an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses in Singapore. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!