Writing E-Tips
February 2006   
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"The more elaborate our means of communication,
the less we communicate."

Joseph Priestly

Types of Writing, Part II

E-Mail Messages


     Perhaps the most frequently used form of business writing is the e-mail. E-mails offer quick, immediate communication and feedback, encouraging better communication between employees and departments as well as improving connections between business and clients. However, there are some drawbacks to the medium. Whenever you start to write an e-mail, consider the following factors.

Strong Points

  • E-mail is fast. Electronic messages travel swiftly, allowing for quick answers and turnaround.
  • E-mail is flexible. You can store received messages for later retrieval, imbed links within your text, and easily communicate with people across the room or across the world.
  • E-mail is efficient. By using the “reply” feature, you can create an easy-to-read trail of messages, creating a record of a “conversation.”
  • E-mail is economical. There’s no expense for postage or paper—and no paper waste.

Weak Points

  • E-mail has a reliability risk. E-mails have been known to disappear into the ether.  A power failure could interrupt communication. If a recipient’s mailbox is full, the message could bounce.
  • E-mail lacks confidentiality. An e-mail message is about as private as a postcard. It could be forwarded without your knowledge, or could even end up in the wrong mailbox!
  • E-mail could encourage laziness. Many look at e-mail as a casual form of communication and thus don’t bother to revise or edit their messages. Also, it’s too easy to send a letter in haste—especially a response—which could lead to problems later on.

For the above reasons, e-mails are often looked down upon as a means of formal, professional communication. When the message is critical, you’ll do better to write it out and send it by land mail. But for quick notes and immediately communication, you can’t beat e-mail!

E-Mail Hints

Never fire off an angry e-mail response.  Let yourself cool off before responding. Never use abusive or insulting language—called “flaming.”

Check your e-mail on a regular basis. Because of the immediacy of e-mail, it’s advisable to check three times a day: once in the morning, once around lunchtime, and once before you leave work. This will assure that you receive important messages in a timely fashion.

Answer anything that requires a response. If you can’t respond immediately, send a quick note acknowledging receipt and explaining that you will respond completely at a later time.

Don’t forward spam or jokes. Unless you know the recipient would want the material, resist the urge to send it to everyone on your mailing list.

Use an automated response. Let correspondents know if you can't read e-mail for a while.

Be selective. Send e-mails only to pertinent parties. Not every message needs to go to everyone in the office.

The preceding tips are from
Write for Business:
A Compact Guide to Writing and Communicating

Now available for purchase at upwritepress.com

February's a good month to . . .

  • Go through and organize last year’s tax records.
  • Establish and explain bonus opportunities for employees.
  • Ask for employee vacation dates for the year.
  • Examine project schedules for the year and revise if necessary.
  • Plan a social event for employees to offset the gloom of winter and reconnect on a personal level.
UpWrite Press is on the move . . .

UpWrite Press at Office MaxWe're getting our act together and taking it on the road! We recently participated in the Grand Opening of the OfficeMax in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. There, trainer Mary Anne Hoff presented some informal writing sessions featuring Effective E-Mail Made E-Z.

UpWrite Press at Office MaxUpWrite Press facilitator Mary Anne Hoff prepares for a day of training sessions.






An OfficeMax customer
enjoys some one-on-one
writing instruction.

. . . and flying high!

UpWrite Press president and CEO Pat Sebranek was recently interviewed for Sky Radio, where he discussed the effects of technology on writing. Pat had some surprising things to say along with some helpful ideas to incorporate into your writing. You can hear the complete interview by going to upwritepress.com and clicking on the microphone icon in the main window.


In the March Issue: Writing Letters

Listen to our SkyRadio interview on United Airlines and Northwest Airlines flights through March, or at www.upwritepress.com. Thirty million people are listening to improve their writing. Get onboard. Take your writing to new heights with UpWrite Press!

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Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing and Communicating
is available for purchase at 1-800-261-0637 ext. 10,
or on the Web at http://www.upwritepress.com.

"Writing E-Tips" is a publication of UpWrite Press, Inc.
P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105.
Copyright © 2006, UpWrite Press. All rights reserved.