How to Reply to Email I

It’s difficult to control the email people send you, but you can protect your personal and corporate reputation when you use reply or use reply all. Let’s look at some ways to make the best out of every situation.

This is the first of a two-part series of ‘How to Reply to Email I & II.

Look To See Who is in To… Who is in Cc...

When replying to an email the first thing to do is check to see if the person who wrote the email has sent it to people who don’t need to see it? If the writer has, do those people a favour and remove them. They may not know what you just did for them – but at least they will not receive more email they don’t need to see… and this time coming from you. 

Second, ask yourself if there are people in the To… field that really should be in the Cc… field. If there are, help those people prioritize their inbox by moving them. The rule is:

  • To… is for the people who need to take action
  • Cc… is for the people who need to know
  • Bc… is mostly seen as sneaky

Take Control of the Email Subject Line

If the sender wrote a great email subject line then keep it! This will help everyone track the conversation.

If the email subject line is poor (for example, if it says “Meeting”), I recommend you take control and adjust it to something that reflects the purpose of the message (for example, change it to “Meeting: Monday for Sales: Agenda Update”). In this case – if you can keep the first word when re-writing the subject it will help everyone track the conversation.

There is much more to say about Email Subject Lines – read my blog post dedicated to Email Subject Lines.

Please read How to Reply to Email II for more valuable, time and cost saving tips. Don’t risk missing it – Subscribe to this blog or perhaps add an RSS feed.

Happy communication and email subject line writing. 

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Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Business Writing, Email Etiquette, Time Management and Mindfulness. Bruce Mayhew on Canada AM

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About Bruce Mayhew
Bruce Mayhew is a Leadership Coach, Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer who builds strong client and co-worker relationships that give clients a competitive advantage. Our training and development programs include: ■Generational Differences ■Effective Business Email Writing ■Email Etiquette ■Phone Etiquette ■Behaviour Event Interviewing (BEI) ■Mindfulness ■Using Linkedin to Build Client Relationships ■Objective Setting Made Easy

One Response to How to Reply to Email I

  1. Pingback: How to Reply to Email II « Bruce Mayhew Blog: Business Communication

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