The fun never stops here at world headquarters of The FENG. I get more amusing emails probably than anyone else on the face of the earth.
Let’s start with the use of “Matt’s secret decoder ring.” Thank goodness it is made out a durable electronic material. Each day about 75% of the emails I get lack an outgoing signature. Now I know that learning how to create an outgoing signature could take upwards of 15 minutes and that your time is best spent elsewhere, but it sure would help me to immediately know who you are and how to reach you.
A proper outgoing signature should include your full name, street address, city, state, zip code, phone numbers and email address. Yes, I know that your email address appears at the top of your message, but unless I print your email, it isn’t always visible on my computer screen. And, make sure your “From:” shows your name as “Matt Bud,” not “matt bud.” (Use your name, of course.)
If you have written something to me that requires a “call to action,” I want to be able to immediately reach for my phone or forward something to you.
Then there are the messages that have been forwarded several times and the lines are all “kaflooey.” (Is kaflooey a great word or what?) If you have an important message to send to someone you “love” like me, it sure would be nice if it were easy to read. Original messages do okay, but some of the forwarded ones are truly a piece of work. (And, I have more than enough work to do.)
Keep in mind that we haven’t even gotten to the presumed skill required of all senior executives of being able to communicate one’s ideas in a coherent fashion. I actually got a 3 paragraph note of sponsorship this past week that went to great lengths to extol the virtues of the individual being proposed for membership, yet failed to mention that person’s name. Not only that, but they weren’t copied on the note, nor was their resume attached. (Yes I know, hard to believe.)
We have come a long way since the beginning of email, which began somewhat akin to the use of the citizens band radio with cutesy “handles” and abbreviated writing styles. Email is now used for business, and in the case of job search almost exclusively instead of stamped envelopes. It should now be considered a professional form of communication and treated with all the respect implied by that categorization.
So, we all have to grow up. If your email service doesn’t provide easy grammar and spell checking, consider writing your note in Word first. You can then cut and paste your communications into your email and they will look and be experienced on the receiving end as the professional missives that they are intended to be.
Remember, friends don’t let friends sound silly when they send email. (Or the email message you save may be your own.)