Writing an email is like writing or typing a letter so all the basics still apply in the digital world too.
Keep the Subject line simple and to the point. Best rule is one topic = one subject line. Some company personnel receive 500-600 emails a day so your subject line that says ‘HI’ is really hard to track back to at a later date!
Remember the recipient is still human so your message needs to be clear and concise.
Emailing is an extremely popular method of communicating and there are few basic types of emails that you may encounter: self-rewarding email gives the recipient information or a compliment, enquiry email requires a reply from the recipient to answer your questions, dialogue emails will keep the lines of communication open.
‘Contacts’ refers to your recipients. Instead of writing out each recipient’s email address when sending an email, you can locate it from your Contact’s list or Address Book in your email software program. Once you have added your contact details to your Address Book then you can also create a ‘Group’ to categorise a group of friends, family or work associates.
When you wish to send your email to a group you need to select the group name from the list in order for those email addresses to be included in the ‘To’ field.
An attachment is a file (a word document, PDF, video, picture) that is ‘attached’ to your email message. When there is an email attachment you will see a paper clip icon.
When you ‘Send’ your email it simply means that your email is sent to your desired recipient/s.
You can chose to send it ‘Priority’ by selecting this option from your email tool bar and your recipient will see that your email stands out either in bold print or with an icon (eg a flag or an exclamation mark) In other words the email is marked as very important and should be read immediately.
When you ‘Forward’ an email it means you copy the e-mail and send it on to one recipient or a number of recipients.
6. To CC or to BCC?
You may want to include another recipient in the Cc (carbon copy) or Bcc (blind carbon copy) fields.
When you use the Cc field your email sends copies of your message to secondary recipients.
Bcc is used when you want to conceal additional addresses from the complete list of recipients
Select the desired email message and open it. Locate ‘Reply’ from the message menu and a new message window will open. The recipient’s address will appear automatically in the ‘To’ field. You will notice that the subject line is the same as the original message and this is important when responding on a specific topic. You and your recipient can read the whole conversation in the body of the email. This is called ‘continuing the thread’.
8. Reply All
Use ‘Reply All’ cautiously and only when your reply is necessary for all your recipients to know your response. You only use ‘Reply All’ when you are confident that “all” your recipients will be interested in your response.
If you do want others to have a copy of your response then you select specific recipients and add their email address to the ‘Cc’ or Bcc’ fields.
When you want to print an email message then you need to highlight the message and click ‘Print’ from the email tool bar. Alternatively you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-P
If you want to delete an email message from your inbox or folders then you need to first select it by clicking on it and hit the Delete Key (Del) on your keyboard or use the delete icon on your email tool bar.
Most email software programs do not permanently delete a message; they just move them to their trash folder.
Only when you are sure that you want the message deleted permanently you can delete it from the trash folder. If you want to delete more than one message hold the Control Key (keyboard key ‘Ctrl’) down while you click on a number of email messages.
If you want to delete a list of messages then hold the Shift Key (keyboard key ‘Shift’) and click on the first message and then go to the last message on the list and while still holding the Shift Key down, click on that message. A whole block of messages will be selected.
Both these methods work when selecting multiple files or folders on your desktop.
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