Most of us have had the horrible experience of discovering one nanosecond after clicking “Send” that we have sent that email to the wrong person. Here is a checklist to help you avoid that and other problems:
1. To make your email sound more human, include a greeting and closing. These can be casual or more formal, depending on the situation.
2. Make sure all names are spelled correctly. You don’t like to see your name mangled; neither does anyone else.
3. Don’t forget to add “please” and “thank you.” These are positive words people like to see.
4. Always use spellcheck, and then always proofread out loud (quietly and slowly) to pick up mistakes spellcheck doesn’t recognize (e.g., “ant” when you meant “any”).
5. Don’t overpunctuate!!!! You want to come across as a professional.
6. Avoid using “Reply All.” We all get too many emails, and “Reply All” clutters up mailboxes with issues that often don’t pertain to the recipient. Be selective in sending responses.
7. If the subject is emotionally charged, after you write your reply do not send it immediately. Do something else. Later, reread your answer and make certain it is responsive to the email you received. If you are satisfied that your answer is appropriate, go ahead and send it. If you’re not sure, either wait awhile longer or else rewrite your response.
8. The last step before sending is to check the TO: field to be certain your email is going only to those you want to see it.