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  • 2007年06月05日

    Effective Email Communication


    Top 10 Tips for writing Effective E-Mail

    1.      Write a meaningful subject line

    a)        subject: “Important! Read Immediately!!”

    b)        Subject: “Meeting”

    c)        Subject: “Follow-up about Meeting”

    d)        Subject: “Do we need a larger room for meeting next Fri?”

    2.      Keep the message focused and readable

    a)        Multiple messages in one email

    l  Number your points

    l  Split them up into separate messages

    b)        Keep your message readable

    l  Use standard capitalization and spelling

    l  Skip lines between paragraphs

    l  Avoid fancy typefaces

    l  Don’t type in all-caps.

    3.        Avoid sending attachments to large audience

    [I’m annoyed when people send bulk e-mails with attached pdf or Word documents that contains nothing more than a few paragraphs of ordinary text. I’d much rather get a plain text message, with a link to where I can download the full version if I want to enjoy all the colors and typefaces, Sending a 1MB attachment to hundreds or thousands of employees is a huge waste of digital resources. -- DGJ]

    4.        Identify yourself clearly

    When contacting someone cold, always include your name, occupation, and any other important identification information in the first few sentences.

    5.        Be Kind. Don’t flame

    a)        Uphold hierarchy, define membership, and forge allegiances.

    b)        Power differential

    l  Do not flame your boss

    l  Do not flame anyone

    6.        Proofread

    l   Make your message look professional, not only rely on spell check.

    7.        Don’t assume privacy

    l    Email is not secure

    8.        Distinguish between formal and informal situations

    l   Careful when you using J or abbreviations “LOL”

    9.        Respond Promptly

    l   Even it is “Sorry, I’m too busy to help you now”

    l   Set your OOF notice on when you in vocation

    10.    Show Respect and Restraint

    l   Using “Reply” instead of “Reply all”

    l   Using “BCC” instead of “CC”

    l   Remember “Sometimes E-Mail is Too Fast!”


    Culture difference on formal letters


    —  Result --> reasons --> additional information

    —  The results show in the first line

    —  Enough information provided to the reader

    —  Clear logic structure

    —  Straight is a polite way


    —  Background -- > reasons --> results --> additional information

    —  Logic structure underneath

    —  Straight is a polite way

    —  Indirect is a good manner of modest


    Email is a communication

    —  Communication is not about your language skill

    —  Your English level does not affect the communication

    —  You can’t force them read your email

    —  People may spend 30 sec on your email

    —  Email is between formal and informal

    —  Informal is not good enough for work.

    —  Email is “a letter or a phone conversation”

    —  It is a channel of communication, so be responsible

    —  Write a effective email with the tips.

    —  Effective email can “save” you


    Miscellaneous e-mail tips

    l Three strikes and you’re out! If we’ve gone back and forth on a topic three times and I’m still not “getting it”—time to pick up the phone or walk to my office. Perhaps there is some context that is not being communicated or agreed upon, and continued e-mail “back-and-forth” is only going to increase frustration and anger, not understanding.

    l Don’t spend too much time getting fancy with fonts and formatting. Fancy formatting may make people think that you obviously don’t have enough to do because you can spend so much time making your e-mail look pretty. Given that most developers don’t like writing e-mail, if you’re spending a lot of time writing mail, it causes your readers to ask, “What kind of developer are you?” The goal is clarity, not a nomination by the Microsoft art committee. Use a graphic to replace words and communicate the idea more effectively. Don’t use a graphic solely because it is pretty.

    l Think before you carbon copy (cc). Do the recipients really need, care, or want to know what you’re saying?

    l When adding more recipients to an e-mail discussion, summarize the e-mail thread to rather than forcing them to participate in the entire discussion. An alternate technique is to start a new e-mail thread and attach the existing thread for context and for those who want to read the entire discussion.

    l Use Reply, not Reply All, when responding to a message sent to a distribution list.

    l Check the size of a distribution list before sending a message or using Reply All. The larger the list, the more you need to consider whether it’s really necessary to send that message.

    l Turn off receipt of acceptance/decline notifications when sending calendar requests to a large audience.

    l E-mail goes down sometimes. Resist the urge to have your co-worker send spam to the entire division announcing that your e-mail is down.

    l Shut off your e-mail sometimes. It’s a terrible distraction when you’re trying to concentrate on a complex coding problem. 


    Experience on email

    —   Be straight forward

    —   By using the format: what --> why --> when …

    —   Make my email not looks boring and unprofessional.

    —   Show your logic thinking obviously in the email.

    —   Trying to use formal format but using plain English

    —   Be responsible if you are on the To line.

    —   Being nice…



    ¡  Jessica Bauer (UWEC student) and Dennis G. Jerz (12 Dec 2000) Writing Effective E-Mail: Top 10 Tips