Knowing how to properly reply to emails is something that everyone — no matter what their job or position is — should learn how to do. But there’s something even more important to master – how to appear smart in emails. This doesn’t just mean having a good grasp of spelling, grammar, and punctuation; it also means using tips and tricks that make you sound highly intelligent to your manager, clients, and colleagues. Here are several ideas you can use:
1. Reply to your manager ASAP
You might not be able to reply to every email that comes your way but, if it’s from your manager, you need to respond as soon as you can. Doing this shows them that you’re paying attention and that you value their input.
2. Harness the power of brackets
You probably already know that your email subject should be brief and concise. But there’s another way to make it even better: using brackets to clarify exactly what your email is all about. Consider these: “[GREAT NEWS] We closed the deal with the VIP client!” or “[CONFIDENTIAL] Don’t show this to anybody”. These subjects highlight the content of your email while grabbing the attention of the recipient and ensuring your message gets read.
3. Summarize your message
You’ve probably seen the acronym TL;DR (too long, don’t read) floating around the Internet. Why not use it in your emails? Write everything that you need to say to the recipient; once you’re done, scroll up to the top of the page, type “TL;DR”, then proceed to give a summary of your content. This way, those who don’t have the time to read your entire email will still know what it’s about at just a glance.
4. Add a “sent from my phone” signature
Your phone probably automatically adds this signature, but it’s worth checking that it does or even add it to your usual email signature. Highlighting the fact that you’re emailing from your mobile device is important since it lets people know that you’re on the go and are not in the position to type out lengthy replies. An added bonus: it gets you off the hook if you make typos (i.e. you can blame autocorrect!).
5. Create an out-of-office responder
If you’re planning to go on a vacation or take sick leave for a medical procedure, set up an out-of-office responder for your email before you leave. This way, those who email you while you’re out of the office will be automatically informed that you can’t respond to them immediately. Even better: add the contact details of your manager or any colleague who can answer enquiries on your behalf.
6. Be the first to respond to good news
Like many people, you probably ignore emails that are not urgent and/or not work-related. However, it’s actually not a good practice since gives the impression to your colleagues that you don’t care. A simple “Congratulations!”, “Good job!”, or “Good work team” can do the trick.
7. Share your thoughts
Don’t just respond to the emails that other people send to you. If you have a great idea on how to increase company revenues or beat competitors, share it with everyone in your team ASAP. Doing this shows that you’re proactive about helping the company achieve success and makes you appear smart in the process.
These are just some of the tips and tricks to come across as smart and intelligent in emails. Use them today and see how they can improve your reputation and even your job prospects!
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