Category Archives: Grammar

Subject verb agreement, correct tense,

Your “Send” Button: First Place or No Place to your Reader?

First Place

Are your e-mails in first place or no place with your readers?

I know you’ve felt the elation of pressing the “send” button when you finished your proposal: Relief!  Your long-awaited article is ready: “send.” Your resume and cover letter are nurtured and massaged: “send.” Your report’s done: “send.” You press the “send” button dozens, sometimes hundreds, of times a day to get your messages across to your clients, co-workers, prospects, friends and family. That one button carries your message around the globe in minutes, and all is well with the world! You hope!

Computers and mobile devices are made for the “send” button. Both personal and professional missives convey your sentiment, concerns, information, questions and answers to others, and the recipients interpret them as they will.

What would you do without the “send” button?

Write like a winner: First place in your readers’ hearts and minds. Give them solid and salient information.

No Place

But alas, all of us have blushed with embarrassment when we press the “send” button and it has one or more of the following:

  1. Typos
  2. Sent to “all” unintentionally
  3. Not quite finished
  4. Sent to the wrong person

I know some companies have a “call back” tool for an e-mail when necessary, but only if the recipient hasn’t opened it. Not all companies have that luxury.

This morning I received a daily message from a spiritual leader that had a typo: “…Listen, be still. Car you hear?…” I’m certain that’s not what he wanted to convey!

I found out that I was unceremoniously taken off a project before the client informed me. How? The client sent a “reply all” e-mail with that information in it and I was in the “all.” Referring to me, “She doesn’t know yet….” Well, yes, I thought, I do now. How awkward! How embarrassing! How unprofessional!

My client sent a response to my feedback and the body of his e-mail was empty! He sent a second e-mail, “Sorry, I pressed the “send” button unintentionally.” I actually just did that about an hour ago!

Have you ever gotten an e-mail back from a person who politely says, “I think you mistakenly sent this to me”? How many times do you type in the name(s) of the recipients and don’t double check that the names and addresses are correct?

None of us is immune to sending e-mails before we’ve proofed, and we find out later about our mistakes. Some are minor errors, others….

Be a First Place Writing Winner

Obliterate your “no place” e-mails when you take these steps before you send:

  1. Proof, proof and re-proof
  2. Reread
  3. Rewrite
  4. Care about your reader
  5. Care about your message
  6. Clarify your information
  7. Make salient and concrete points

If you don’t have time to proof it, when will you have time to either re-do it or make amends for your mistakes?

Pause before hitting your “reply all” button– unless it’s intentional, and take time to check your subject line and recipients.

Your name is at the top of your e-mails.

Celebrate First Place! 

It feels good to send well-written and correct proposals, reports, resumes, letters and other information off to the right people. This highlights your e-mail in first place.

For better writing for your team, I’m here to help you. I conduct ½ and full-day writing workshops; they help your team and you!

Call – 303-753-1111 or e-mail Dee@DeeDukehart.com.

If you’d like a complementary “Quick Guide for Better E-Mails,” contact me at one of the above.

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Filed under Business Writing, Grammar