Tips for improving email communications

18th March 2014

Improving internal communications is a key way for business to deliver better customer services and increase the speed of decision making. With email being such an important part of business communications, it's essential organisations develop clear email communications guidelines and prevent employees getting lost in a fog of unread messages.

The Next Web has published a list of 10 tips for improving email communications within teams, with useful advice such as:

Don’t reply to everything — Not every message needs a response.
Don’t email everything — Rather than send an email for every idea you have, keep a list and group ideas together for inclusion in one email.
Do an email-handshake first — Find out how colleagues prefer to receive emails, and then make sure you the ones you send match their needs.
Shorter is better — For most people, shorter emails are preferable and will encourage reading.
Is email the best medium? — Email is often the default way of starting a discussion, however sometimes picking up the phone, or arranging a meeting is the better option.
Keep emotions out of it — It can be difficult to judge 'tone' in an email, so wait till you are calm before sending one.
Don’t email documents — Attachments clog up email systems and cause confusion. Instead (link: /productivity/futurebox-cloud-storage text: use a cloud storage service title: FutureBox cloud storage and sharing for business) and share links.
Only CC with a reason — Does everyone need to see an email? If you are sending to multiple people, make it clear which bits are relevant for them, and which they can ignore.
BCC is a great gift — If someone is in the bcc field, they know they don't have to respond to the email and are just being kept in the loop.
Don’t email at all — Most people start their working day by checking their email and responding to messages. For a change, try leaving your email app closed for the first hour and see if that improves your productivity.

Not all the suggestions made in the article are suitable for everyone, however by trying a few of the suggestions most organisations will improve their email communications.

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