E-mail sign-offs: Get creative

August 17, 2010 Categorized in: Outlook

“The last sentence of an e-mail is like the last words of a phone call,” says Lynn Gaertner-Johnston, author of the “Business Writing” blog. So sign off with a courteous closing that suits the communication. A few examples:
Proofreading alert! According to search engines Google and Yahoo, the most common misspellings in searches are not due to the difficulty of the word, but rather to sloppiness … Make restaurant reservations in a fraction of the time, now that Yelp.com and OpenTable.com have integrated their web sites … Reduce ink use and save money by changing your default e-mail font to Century Gothic.
Make your e-mail easy to read and respond to with these four tips: 1. Limit your e-mail messages to one topic. 2. Make sure your headline is clear, strong and descriptive. 3. Include all contact information within every e-mail. 4. Encompass all relevant information the person might need to answer the e-mail.
E-mail, that revolutionary productivity tool, has a dark side. It can create divisions between co-workers, hurt productivity and destroy focus, say critics. Some even draw a comparison between e-mail and gambling. To counterbalance the negatives, companies have been imposing “no e-mail Fridays” or “no e-mail weekends.” Anyone can take measures to keep e-mail addiction from getting out of hand, though.

It’s ‘Out of Office’ reply season

June 7, 2010 Categorized in: OutlookTravel

You’re leaving for vacation, so you dutifully set up the classic “Out of the office, will reply to your message when I get back” e-mail auto-responder. But the auto-reply message doesn’t get rid of the nagging feeling that you’re missing something. Before you go on vacation, set up a custom auto-reply system that will make it easier for you to relax.
Every night, when CEO Danny Meyer goes home, he reads a daily memo that his executive assistant e-mails him. “I don’t know how we managed without them,” says the leader of Union Square Hospitality Group. Consider using a productivity booster like an e-mailed daily memo to keep communication strong between you and your boss.
Elevate the clarity of your writing by using the inverted pyramid style that journalists use … Go ahead, give someone a high five or a supportive pat on the back … Send large files fast by using a free service such as YouSendIt Lite … Gain credibility by stripping “marketese” from your writing geared toward customers … Double-check e-mail messages where the stakes are high.

Making key inbox messages stand out

April 28, 2010 Categorized in: OrganizingOutlook

Laura answers at least 25 calls a day on behalf of her boss. He has asked her to e-mail the messages to him, rather than write them on paper. “But he gets hundreds of e-mails a day, and he complains that his phone messages get lost in the shuffle,” she says. “How can I resolve this and make it simple for him and me?”

Keep your inbox running on empty

April 12, 2010 Categorized in: Outlook

Here’s an easy trick for keeping an inbox from filling up: Read e-mail in batches. Rather than scanning your inbox for urgent messages, plucking out a few and leaving the rest until later, follow these tips:
Has e-mail become so ubiquitous that it has changed the way we craft business correspondence? That’s what admins recently debated on our Admin Pro Forum. Some suspected that writing “Dear” or “Very truly yours” has become too old-fashioned for digital—or even printed—correspondence. A bevy of self-proclaimed “old-school” admins protested.

Transform an e-mail list into a gold mine

March 9, 2010 Categorized in: Outlook

Are you more experienced than your boss with social-media sites? You can use those sites to help build your business’s e-mail marketing list, says Julie Waite, an e-mail marketing strategist at Bronto Software. A bigger marketing list equals more potential business, which is probably one of your boss’s top goals. Here’s what she recommends:

3 good e-mail forwarding tips

February 5, 2010 Categorized in: Internal CommunicationOutlook

When you first see “FW:” in your e-mail inbox, you never know whether the sender is sharing something useful or frivolous. Use the “forward” button wisely, and you can connect others with valuable information or make a new, prized introduction. Keep these three tips in mind:
A few things to consider when revising your e-mails: 1. Toss useless words. 2. Last things first. 3. Watch your format. 4. Use effective subject lines. 5. Set the right tone. 6. Always allow room to be corrected.