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Email Etiquette – hints & tips

Email Etiquette – hints & tips

One of the key factors that ensures efficient management of body corporate correspondence is the time and effort placed on effective communication. With email now the most common and convenient method, consideration to the content, supporting documentation, intended recipient and clear communication of action required has become increasingly important.

For efficiency, it is imperative that the recipient receives your correspondence and its content in a comprehendible manner, so that any necessary actions can be taken without the need for clarification causing delays or possibility of misinterpretations. We have put together some common tips on email etiquette to help ensure effective communication in all body corporate matters.

1. The Introduction – If you are emailing a new recipient, make sure you introduce yourself and include a brief reminder of who you are if you have not been in recent contact. It is important not to assume that a new recipient will know who you are based on assumptions such as your email content.

2. Recipients – A common mistake occurs when a recipient has been copied in (CC or BCC) to an email with little explanation of its relevance. This makes it difficult for the recipient to know if they need to action anything and if the material is of importance. Prior to copying multiple recipients in an email, consider what you are expecting from the recipients and if it is absolutely necessary that they are included. Do not assume that because you CC a recipient that they will act on a small section relevant to them in a long lengthy email.

3. Clear subject line – With inboxes often being clogged with hundreds of emails daily, it is important that your subject line clearly states which Body Corporate, matter or otherwise you are referring. This will enable prioritisation and eliminate the likelihood of your email being seen as spam.

4. Tone – Avoid using caps lock and overusing exclamation marks. These can make the statements in your email appear as if you are shouting or angry. Appropriate words should be used to highlight importance or urgency. Be conscious of your audience and avoid using unprofessional salutations like “Hey you guys” or “Hey folks”, rather consider the use of more appropriate salutations such as Hi or Hello.

5. Attachments – If you are attaching something, don’t expect the recipient to be responsible for thorough review of multiple items sent without reference to their relevance in your email. Alert the recipient to the attachment/s and relevance to why you have sent it to them.

6. Proofread – Sending emails with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes will require the recipient/s to fill in the gaps and try to interpret your message likely causing delays and frustration. Relying on spellcheck will not guarantee an email will not be sent with some unfortunate, or unintended words in them but will help. Read your email prior to sending including final check of attachments and recipients suggested to be completed as a final step and double check before hitting “Send”.

7. Appropriate Method – Although the introduction of email and smart phones has enabled us to communicate at all hours and while on the move, such advancements in technology have also greatly reduced telephone communication. If you are expecting a quick response to a query or 2 way dialog is required, an efficient way of obtaining the answer could potentially be via the telephone, video call or arranging a face to face meeting.

Email should not be treated as an instant messenger or text service. Emailing is essential in our daily lives and when used appropriately, it can be a very effective and efficient method of communicating. The ever-increasing time that is spent dealing with emails highlights the importance of having good etiquette and consideration of the impact this form of communication has on others.

This article was contributed by Aaron Margaritis, CFO – Archers the Strata Professionals.

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