Correct spelling and grammar are now vital to get right when sending messages online, according to email training organisation Emailogic.
Amanda Abbitt, a trainer at Emailogic, said during a training session at a media company in London that spelling mistakes and abbreviations such as those often used in text messages have grown increasingly unacceptable in the past year.
Growing amounts of email business mean that users want to see clear and concise correspondence, she said. Subject lines in emails should also be of a certain standard, otherwise the sender will come across as unprofessional.
Abbitt's advice is that email senders should use abbreviations such as FYI (for your information), SOC (society), REQ (required) and EOM (end of message) only if they feel it will help the recipient manage their inbox more efficiently.
Senders should also be specific with their subject lines, such as 'Badminton tonight - where to meet', rather than simply 'tonight', she said.
The subject line should also be limited to a length that fits common inbox views, because "those using BlackBerrys and other mobile devices may only see the first 20 characters", Abbitt warned.
"Emailogic has done more research than anyone else in this area and has found that, if you send a good subject line, you get a good one back," she said.
Abbitt also suggested that individuals should make use of the range of capabilities offered by email providers to help cope with feelings of email overload.
"For example, they can set rules such as one that automatically files an email that begins with FYI and then just check the FYI folder a couple of times a day," she said.
Other ideas include removing alerts that distract users each time a new email is delivered, limiting read receipt use, and building a scheduled time into the daily routine for managing emails.
Abbitt also advised a "read once only" approach to email, where individuals immediately delete, respond, file or forward the message after reading it.
Another economy is to put 'no response required' at the bottom of an email that does not need answering to avoid a series of 'thank you' replies.
Finally, Abbitt said that individuals should limit those they copy in to messages. "When you copy people in, you are asking them to spend time. So only copy people in when you feel the email warrants their involvement," she said.
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