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Avoid these email missteps

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Make sure that you are using email effectively by avoiding these common mistakes:

1. Entering the recipient’s address before drafting the message. With an email address in the To: field, you can accidentally send a message before you have a chance to complete or edit it. Draft your message first.

2. Using vague subject lines. You should offer readers a snapshot of what your message will contain and note if action is necessary. Exam­­ple: “Action Required: Provide Feed­­back on Attached XYZ Notes.”

3. Not providing enough context. While you don’t want to provide way too many details, you do need to provide enough information so that recipients don’t have to search previous emails for details and background information.

4. Sending too many follow-up messages. People are busy and may not have had time to check your messages, so don’t harass them. If you need an urgent response, include “Response needed by …” in the subject line.

5. Responding without reading carefully. Thoroughly read a message before you respond so that you don’t ask senders to repeat content they covered in the original message.

— Adapted from “The 8 Worst Email Habits You Need to Break Right Now,” Kelly Gurnett, Brazen Careerist.

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