Effective Email (part one)

Communication has evolved a great deal in the technological age.  I've talked about what kinds of communication are best for various situations, I've pointed out the pitfalls of different forms of communication and I've discussed how they each have been misused.  This week, I'd like to begin a brand new series of articles that will share the details of writing an effective email. Email is a form of communication that most people use and are familiar with, but as JoJoism#20 states, "Do not mistake speaking for communicating.  One involves an ability and the other mastery."  The same concept is just as true of the informal written word called email.  Just because we do something often, doesn't mean we do it effectively. Have you ever sent someone an email and had them either not reply or reply with a question about what you meant?  This is usually a result of ineffective communication in one or more parts of your email.  Since most people use email and some use it almost extensively, this will be a very powerful study in communication that will give you practical help in making your every day correspondence extremely effective. This will be a seven part series that I will share over the next few weeks so make sure you're subscribed to our RSS feed so you don't miss any part of it.  I'm going to take each part of the email one at a time.  Today's post is about your email address. I know, it sounds a little silly.  After all, how important could your email address be in the scheme of things?  What difference could it possibly make what your email address is?  Do people really notice anyway?  The answer to these questions is very, huge and yes!  Here are four reasons why. 1. Your email address communicates something about you. Just as your first impression means a great deal when you meet someone, your email address presents a first impression of you to those who receive your email.  PickledPigsFeet@MSN.com may give you a giggle, but is it really what you want to represent you when you post on your Yahoo group? 2. Your email address should communicate a positive image. IHateMyJob@Yahoo.com may let off some steam, but is that what you want to reflect on each time you send an email?  Is that what you want others to see about you when you post?  How might that be interpreted should it get back to your boss? Don't say who you don't want to be.  Choose an email address that reflects who you do want to be. 3. Your email address should be God-honoring. If I'm a professing Christian, every part of me should honor God.  Not just the words that come out of my mouth, but the clothes I wear and the groups I associate with all communicate who I am in Christ.  Just as these contribute to making a God honoring impression, so do our virtual forms of communication.   We wouldn't choose a letterhead that was offensive and so we should also be careful that our email address is not.  I've seen some pretty strange email addresses that, while I may not term them offensive, I certainly wouldn't say they honored the Lord.  Having a positive and God-honoring email address that describes me will help make a good impression just as my clothes, handshake, manners and speech do when I'm in person. 4. Your email address will be judged through a cultural and personal filter. Only God knows our heart. All others judge us through a filter that is based on their personal, professional and cultural world view whether we like it or not.  Through this filter goes every aspect of our communication to them.  In a face to face conversation, it's our voice, our eye contact, our words and expressions, etc.  In an email, it starts with our email address. If you use your email for the sole purpose of communicating with close friends, that is one thing.  However, if you use your email address to contact customer service at your bank, your son's baseball coach, or your customers, CutiePatootie@hotmail.com might not earn the respect and support you desire. SIDE NOTE: If you are a WAHM with your own business, you need to get a more professional email address.  If you have your own domain, you should always use your domain email address.  And while you're setting up that email address, make sure it reflects who you are in your company.  Think about what your customer or supplier or business associate would think if they saw that email address associated with your company? Effective email begins with the impression you make that reflects who you are and that begins with the email address. Think about it this way.  When you were born, your parents gave you a name.  You had no choice in the matter.  When you set up your email address, you get to choose.  Choose wisely! I'll be back on Wednesday with part two of my effective email series.  Stay tuned! I'd love your comments and, if you've found value in this post, please...


  • Carla

    Point 4 really nails it. No matter what you thought when you set up your email address, it gets looked at and judged by many others. I have many email addresses, each tailored to what it’s used for. I only have one sorta kinda silly address, but that’s only used for very personal things. My two business addresses reflect the sites.

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  • Dandre

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  • Effective Email (part two) » Communication FUNdamentals

    […] Monday, I began a new six part series on effective email with an in depth look at choosing our email address wisely.  Today I continue the series with a look at the subject […]

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