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Feb 28 2017

A Straightforward Guide to Deciding Whether to Send That Email


Most of us send tens or even hundreds of emails every day without thinking twice. When we need to share information or make a request, we automatically open our email, write a message, and send it off.

But defaulting to your inbox to communicate isn’t a good practice. After all, email isn’t always the most efficient or practical medium. Let’s explore the four questions you should ask yourself before dashing off a message.

1. Would this interaction be shorter or easier in person?

If you need a quick answer, or your message is pretty simple, it’s usually better to walk over to the person’s desk and give them your spiel directly. This strategy saves you at least two emails: your original one and their response.

You might not be in the same office as the professional you’re speaking to. In that case, pick up the phone instead.

2. Does the person need time to respond?

Maybe your recipient will require at least an hour before they can respond because you’ve posed a question that’s not straightforward, they need to look something up, they’re currently busy, and so on.

Don’t force them to respond too soon. Sending an email lets the other person delay their response, if necessary.

3. Is this conversation sensitive?

Miscommunications and misinterpretations will be far less likely if you can see the person’s voice and hear their tone. For that reason, potentially emotional or important discussions should happen face-to-face or over Skype.

The one benefit to holding these conversations via email? You have an automatic record of what you talked about and your decisions. To work around this, send a message right after your meeting summarizing your conversation and mutually agreed-upon action items. If anything goes wrong, you can point to this email.

4. Am I attaching helpful materials?

People would usually rather receive an email than talk in person if you’re including a relevant piece of content. They can return to it later; plus, if you send it after your conversation, they’ll still be opening a message from you.

With that in mind, if there’s content involved, opt for email.

About Signature Consultants, LLC

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 29 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit https://www.sigconsult.com. Signature Consultants is the parent company to Hunter Hollis and Madison Gunn.

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