Using Email instead of "Snail Mail":
Email has become a common communication tool for most busy business people.
There are still some times that only a letter sent through the mail or a
delivery service will do. When there are legal implications, the letter
should be mailed or delivered by a service such as UPS or FedEx.
In some cases, it may be preferred to send an email instead of making a quick
telephone call. The advantage is that you will have a written record of
what you told the reader. He/she can quickly respond at a time that is
convenient for him/her. This type of "written dialogue" provides a memory
helper and keeps each party on her toes!
It is appropriate to use email for many common business
communications, including the following:
- Most good news letters, requests for information, and simple follow-up
- When a quick turnaround time is needed for response. Since business
professionals often check their email several times a day, it may be much
quicker to send the information by email than through "snail mail." It
is also a better way to get specific information to someone instead of leaving
long voice mail messages on the telephone or playing "telephone tag."
When you do use email, it is essential that you still use good business
communications writing skills. Keep these suggestions in mind:
- Use the appropriate "formula" for writing. For a good news or
request, use three paragraphs. The first paragraph must contain the good
news or request. The second paragraph must contain the details; the last
paragraph contains no new information and is a courteous close.
- Use appropriate sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation. Don't
use "internet acronyms" such as LOL (laugh out loud)! The communication
can still send an appropriately formal message, even though it is quicker than
a traditional printed letter.
- Don't lapse into informal writing techniques that you may have learned
when using chat rooms! This is not appropriate for any business
- If you are using an email format to complete a writing assignment in
BusComm class, you should still use MS Word to produce the document and attach
it to an email message. This helps with grading.
- It is not necessary to include the date, or a traditional "inside address"
in an email message.
- You will want to include your name in the "from" and "reply to" sections
of your email set up so that the reader will know who you are immediately.
- You should also set up a "signature" on your email that will automatically
put your full name, position, company name, phone number, and email address on
each email you send out. This will save you time and give the
appropriate information to each person with whom you communicate by email.
- Be sure to include a specific subject line that gives the reader an idea
of what is coming. Don't be too vague on the subject line!
Using email is a great new tool for business writing. Use it wisely and
keep in mind that you are still representing your company each time you send out
an email. Don't be embarrassed by dashing off quick, ill-advised messages!