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EMAIL IS REAL QUICK

The allure of email lies in its speediness, using the Internet, you can send email to New York within a minute or so (depending on the connections). A fax has the same speed of delivery too but you need a fax machine at both ends.

Because of its quick delivery, email often  takes the form of

 
short notes of a few paragraphs, almost like a short conversation. Many people will usually respond, if it is appropriate, almost immediately since it is easy enough as you are at your PC and the software is so user friendly that you just click on 'send' and the return message is on its way.  
 
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eMail is not confined to the corporate environment as you can have your own facility by accessing  the Internet. To do this, you need to subscribe to one of the Internet Service Providers (ISP) through which your email will be routed.

You obviously need your own PC and modem but software will usually be provided. When you subscribe, you are given a unique 'address' which is how everyone else in the world will contact you. Incidentally, this address is presently a bit of 'status' symbol but like the hand-phone, it will soon be just another line on the business card.

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GUIDES FOR IMPROVING email COMMUNICATIONS
An estimated 250 million people worldwide communicated using electronic mail in 1999 a significant growth compared to 25.2 million in 1995. The numbers are expected to go up again, proving  that email has become an essential tool. especially for communications.

As an etiquette guide for business email users, US Based Fabrik Communications Inc has come up with its email Netiquette Guide. The guide features tips that define common email practices and offers suggestions about how to improve business communications.

"We initially developed this guide to help our customers communicate more effectively with email, but realized that it's appropriate for all corporate email users," said Fabrik's Vice President of Marketing Julie Welch.

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email IS PUBLIC INFORMATION
email messages should be considered public, not private information. The Internet is not yet fully secure for sending confidential information.

Every time an email message is sent or received, remember that a record of it remains. When drafting a message, one should consider not only who is going to read it today, but who might read it in a year from now. Also, if you have "signature" block, carefully choose the words or phrases in it.

A signature block is one of two lines that serve as the business card at the end of an email message. It shouldn't include any words or phrases that are offensive, misleading or against your company policy.

 

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NETIQUETTE
email etiquette (sometimes called 'netiquette'). If you are new to email, bear in mind that you should avoid typing your message in capitals, it is the electronic equivalent of SHOUTING! You should also keep email short and to the point since many people may not appreciate reading 20 screen-full of this and that. Remember that this is a quick way to communicate and you can always shoot off another email the same hour or day to clarify something.

Bear in mind that once you have an email address, you may receive junk email....yes, you can't escape from unsolicited messages even on the 'Net' Just ignore these messages if they mean nothing to you. Responding only makes things worse as the company at the other end will continue to have a record of your response.

Because of the unique addressing system, it is not often that your email will go to the wrong person but it is not impossible. More often, you will have mistyped the address and it simply bounces back to you in the same way as a letter that is 'returned to sender' due to non-existence of the addressee.

For a refresher in online courtesy, go to
The Netiquette Home Page 
http://www.albion.com/netiquette

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PLEASE DON'T SHOUT
In the Internet world, it's important to be sure that your computer's CAPS LOCK key isn't stuck. Why ? Messages written in all capital letters are hard to read, and perhaps more importantly, messages in a capital letters will be interpreted by others as shouting.

If you want to emphasize something, reach for the key *key and place two of them around the word you want to emphasize. It's *much* nicer  to see stars than to SHOUT for attention.

It's important to remember that most email communication is instantaneous, and once you send a message, it's gone. Check to see what you've attached the correct files. Also, be careful about what you're writing, and to whom you're addressing an email message- both inside and outside your company.

 

Be sure to double check the To: and cc: (or carbon copy) address lines carefully when addressing and responding to email messages. As a rule of thumb, send information to the people who need to know, rather than to everyone you know.

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IT'S ALL IN THE PRESENTATION
email reflects the individual sending it. Since job performance is evaluated on the quality of your communication skills, you should always present your best work. It only takes a minute to check the spelling, grammar and punctuation. Also, be sure that your email messages are properly formatted. You don't want others outside your organization to receive messages that are hard to decipher.

email makes it easy to efficiently communicate important information, especially when you craft messages using bullets and short paragraphs. The more succinct you are, the more likely it is that your message will be read, understood and acted upon.

Reviewing and editing your email messages will improve your communication and help you to clarify issues. No one knows how long a message  takes to create, they only know how clear (or unclear) it is when it's received.

Since email is an effective method for communications, email users have naturally begun to create abbreviations for commonly written phrases. Understanding and using simple abbreviations can be very effective provided your message recipients also know them.

Some of the most commonly used email abbreviations are  IMHO- In my humble opinion, BTW- By the way, FWIW- For what it's worth, RTM- Read the manual, and LOL- Laughing  out loud.

 

 

 


 


 

FLAME BURN
Every business email user should be aware of "flames", because it is used too often, they can burn out your career. Flames are written personal insults or extreme expressions of opinion. Also known as flame mail, flames are generally impulsive reactions, most tempting when you are overburdened or tired.

So relax, take a deep breath and apply the same rules of consideration that you would when communicating face to face.

 

THE SUBJECT LINE
Some say that the most important part of any mail message is the subject line. that's because those few descriptive words and your name are often the only clues a recipient has to help him or her prioritize an email messages.

Be succinct, but informative, when describing  your message and heed one note of caution. Writing 'important' in the subject  line might not always get priority attention because the other messages in the box  are probably important, too.

Instead, use descriptive subjects such as "Q1 Status Report 2/19" which deliver a great deal of information in a small amount of space.

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NO SPAMMING ALLOWED
Once you become an email 'power user', you will begin to hear new terms. One of them is 'spamming'. derived from the canned meat product.  Spam, is an act of intrusion often seen in news groups or user group forums.

You know spamming has occurred when someone posts unwanted and irrelevant messages to a large number of email addresses. You don't have to worry about spamming as long as you remember that email is a business tool.

Business email is not a proper vehicle to espouse  personal views about subjects unrelated to and inappropriate for a productive workplace.

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LET THE RATS DO THE PACKING
Look around your office. Is it full of files, cabinets, and stacks of papers? If it is, then you're probably a pack rat. This means that you're a likely candidate for taking extra space on your computer's network.

If you find yourself beginning to accumulate hundreds of messages in your in-box or worse yet,  in multiple folders, stop. Admit you have a problem. Then take a moment, perhaps at the end of every month, a delete outdated messages. Keeping only the email messages you need will make both you and your network more efficient.

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EMOTIONS + icons = eMOTICONS
Has anyone ever sent you a :-) and all you see is a colon, dash and end parenthesis sign? Look again - sideways - it's a smile! Communicating with others via the Internet doesn't mean that you have to lose your personality. That's why there are emotions. These subtle insertions into an email message can convey expressions.

Here are some of the most common emoticons
   8-) writer wear glasses
   :-o writer is surprised
   ;-) writer is winking
   :-(  writer is frowning
   :-D  writer is laughing
    :-) writer smiling
    :)  smile

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