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Rules of correspondence by e-mail

If you use e-mail 1-2 times a month, you may have never thought about the fact that it is very difficult to conduct active correspondence with dozens of people at the same time. You greatly simplify the work with the mail to your interlocutor (and with a significant amount of correspondence and yourself too), if you stick to a few simple rules. These recommendations are not a dogma, they are aimed solely at increasing the efficiency of work with the mail and do not concern such issues as politeness, etiquette, corporate culture, preludes, smileys and smack-smacks.

1. Create a new letter
1.1. Letter subject
1.2. The fields "To", "Copy", "Bcc"
1.3. Urgency / Importance Flags
1.3.1. Letters to subordinates
1.3.2. Letters to the authorities
1.3.3. Letters to colleagues
1.4. Appeal
1.5. Body of the letter
1.6. Signature
2. Reply to the received letter
2.1. "Reply", "Reply to all", "Forward"
2.1.1. "Reply"
2.1.2. "Reply All"
2.1.2. «Forward»
2.2. Letter subject
2.3. Body of the letter

1. Create a new letter

1.1. Letter subject

When creating new letters, do not forget to specify the subject of the letter. It is desirable that the theme sounded laconic, but quite fully let know what the letter is about. If you assume that in the future, your interlocutor will need to return to this letter, or this letter is one of many related to a topic, it makes sense to include in the title of the letter a few words, which later can be searched or grouped with other letters, Concerning the question of interest. Also, in agreement with the interlocutor in the subject of the letter, you can include special character sequences (tags) for automatic sorting of mail.

Example 1.1. Your organization decided to renew the contract with the scientific and production enterprise "Ukrainian Information Company" ("NPP PEC"). You found a typo in the contract (the requisites are incorrectly specified) and you want to inform your boss about it.
An example of a bad topic name: "Problem !!!" . Your letter will certainly attract attention to itself on the day of its receipt. But in a few days, assuming that this is not the first letter from you with a similar theme, and your other colleagues are also writing letters with similar topics, finding this letter in the incoming mail archive will be a difficult task for your boss.
An example of the title of the topic is satisfactory: "The requisites are incorrect" . More or less clear about what is at stake. It is relatively easy to find in the "incoming" (the first few days). Hard to find in the archive in a few months.
Example of a good topic name: "Inaccurate details are specified (contract with NPP PEC for 2010) . " It is clear about what is at stake. It is easy to find both in the "incoming" and in the archive, using the search by keywords (or tags):
- "contract" + "NPP PEC" , if it is required to find letters concerning the conclusion of contracts with this organization
- "NPP PEC" , if you need to find everything related to working with this organization,
- "contract" + "2010" , if you need information on contracts for 2010, etc.

1.2. The fields "To", "Copy", "Bcc"

The "To" field indicates who is expected to receive an answer to this letter. If it is assumed that you need to answer a few people, you specify them all in the "To" field.

Example 1.2.1. You make a contract, want to be checked by an accountant and a lawyer and told you whether everything is correct. Both in "To".
In the field "Copy" indicate people who may be interested in this letter, but no reply is required from them.
Example 1.2.2. In the previous example, you can include your boss in the "Copy", if he asked you to keep him "up to date" on this issue.
Example 1.2.3. Referring to someone's opinion, it may be useful to include it in a copy so that the recipient of your letter knows that you have correctly interpreted the words of the person to whom you referred.
Example 1.2.4. When giving an order to an employee who is not directly subordinate to you (of course, having coordinated this with his line manager in advance), it makes sense to include his manager in the "Copy" so that the employee knows that your instruction is coordinated with his immediate superiors and from him Require more than agreed.
In the field "BCC" indicate the recipients who may be interested in the subject of the letter, and for some reason you do not want it to be visible to other recipients.
Example 1.2.5. You do mass mailings and do not want recipients to see each other's contacts in order to avoid "draining" e-mails into spam databases.

1.3. Urgency / importance flags

Even if you are a very good employee, all the issues that you solve are very important for you, and you are used to solving them as quickly as possible, does not mean that all your letters should be marked with the flag of "high importance".
Which letters are considered important, and which are not, depends on the specific situation.
1.3.1. Letters to subordinates
Letters from the superior to the subordinates are "important" by definition. The flag of importance is worthwhile to put only if your subordinate is overloaded with your assignments and suddenly there appeared an urgent matter that must be done earlier than all the others.
1.3.2. Letters to the authorities
You must understand that by sending a letter of high importance, you actually ask the person to give up all of their business and begin to deal with your question. If, after reading the letter, your boss does not share your opinion on the urgency of this issue, nothing but irritation, such a letter will not cause your career growth (as a person who is not mature enough to correctly prioritize) may slow down, stop altogether or even decline .
1.3.3. Letters to colleagues
It makes sense to put, for example, for letters like "it-must-we-all-where-urgently" or "I-of course-understand-what-you-this-not-need-but-if-not-help-all- Is gone . "

1.4. Appeal

Appeal is usually placed at the beginning of the letter. If the letter is addressed to several recipients, the appeal may also occur in the middle of the letter.

Example 1.2.6.

Tatiana, Roman,
This contract must be concluded within 2 days.

Specify the details and pass it to Tatiana.

Print it, register it in the office and bring it to my signature.

1.5. Body of the letter

1. To make your letter easier to read , use paragraphs or blank lines to highlight the structural elements of the letter, as well as individual sub-topics in a long letter.
2. If you want from your interlocutor to receive answers on several questions indicated in the letter, it makes sense to explicitly number them so that your interlocutor does not miss something important, and when responding he could give a laconic but understandable answer to you without spending a lot of time On its writing (see Example 2.3.1).

1.6. Signature

Be sure to put a signature at the end of the letter!
Agree, it's hard to guess what is being said in the letter (or at least to understand from whom it is), if you receive a letter in which there is only one phrase "So what have you decided?", The subject of the letter and the signature is missing, and the letter itself Was sent from the address "".
By the way, it would be a good idea to have an account for business correspondence containing your name, surname and first name or surname and initials ("", "", "" ). But even having a "correct" account does not exempt from the obligation to sign your letters.

2. Reply to the received letter

2.1. "Reply", "Reply to all", "Forward"
When you reply to a message, never create a new message. Use "Reply", "Reply to all", "Forward".
2.1.1. "Reply"
The answer is sent only to the person from whom you received the letter.
Used for correspondence with one person or for an answer / confirmation of receipt of a letter of mass mailing.
If you believe that your answer contains information that may be of interest to someone else, you can always add this person to "To" or to "Copy."
2.1.2. "Reply All"
The sender of the letter, as well as all people (except you) indicated in the "To" field of the original letter are included in the "To" of your answer. All people (except you) indicated in the "Copy" of the original letter are included in the "Copy" of the answer.
Used when discussing a question with a relatively small circle of people.
For obvious reasons, you should not use this when replying to mailing lists.
2.1.2. «Forward»
It is most often used to ask someone to solve a problem that goes beyond your competence.
Do not forget to add persons interested in solving the issue to the "Copy".
Please note that when sending a message (as opposed to answering a letter), the attachments of the original letter (if any) are automatically added to the new email.
2.2. Letter subject
When answering a letter, never change the subject of the letter, otherwise the opportunity to group correspondence on this topic will be lost.
When answering a letter, its subject should sound like "RE: Subject of Received Letter", and when forwarding - "FW: Subject of Received Letter"
If your email client adds another "RE:" when replying to a reply, delete it (it's "RE:", not the mail client, although deleting such a mail client is a good idea), because in the subject line of the form " RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: ТемаИсходногоПисьма »no amount" RE: "will not be counted, but useful information (subject of the letter) can get out of the window.
2.3. Body of the letter
When answering a letter (or forwarding), your letter should look like this:
  1. <Your letter (including greeting and signature)>
  2. <Separator>
  3. <Information about the received letter> (it is inserted by the mail client at the answer)
  4. <Original message text>

1. Place your text at the beginning of the letter. Your interlocutor is interested in exactly your answer, and this should be the first thing he will read in the letter (top-posting). In addition, many people now have smartphones on which they check mail when they are not at the computer. If your answer is not at the beginning, but somewhere in the middle or at the end, then this person will have to at the very least scroll the letter to the end, because Entirely on the screen it can not fit. And there is also the worst case: most mobile clients use only a few kilobytes of mail to save traffic. Those. The person will need to open the letter, click on the "download the rest of the letter" button on the next synchronization, synchronize with the mail server (having spent traffic and its time), and only after that the fully downloaded letter is scrawled to the very end to read your answer. Well, you understand: use top posting.
If several questions were raised in the initial letter, and they were numbered (see 1.5, paragraph 2), respectively, number your answers.

Example 2.3.1.
  1. Definitely yes.
  2. I do not mind, but consult in the accounting department.

If you are very busy, and the question is very urgent, you can answer "see. Answers below in the text "and write the answers in the body of the received letter. But it's better not to abuse it, because If someone else wants to correct you, the structure of the letter will become very complicated and you can by mistake not notice the latest version of the fixes.
If the original letter is marked as "important", reply to it as soon as possible. If in a letter marked as "important", you are asked for some materials, and their preparation takes time, just confirm the receipt of the letter and let me know when you plan to send the required materials. (If you just sit silently and start to prepare materials, your interlocutor at this time will be nervous, to doubt whether the letter came to you, to call you on the phone, to look for other ways to contact you)
Be sure to confirm the receipt of letters in which this is clearly requested, as well as those letters in which you are talking about planning meetings with your participation or about assignments given to you, even if there is no explicit request to confirm receipt of the letter.
2. As a separator, <hr> is usually used for emails in HTML format or there are a lot of minuses for text messages.
3. The mail client should be set so that when answering the information about the received letter, it is indicated who, when, to whom and on what topic he wrote it.

Example 2.3.2. Response to the letter
Hello, Vasya!

Yours faithfully,
Maxim Bukasov

From: Vasiliy Pupkin [mailto: <mailto: >]
Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 11:50 AM
To: Maxim Bukasov
Subject: What's up? Hello, Maxim! What's up? -
Vasya Pupkin

If you use the MS Outlook e-mail client, the "default" settings will work.

4. Do not delete or edit the text of the original letter. Include it entirely without any changes to the end of your letter after the signature and delimiter (TOFU). This will help your interlocutor, if necessary, to recall the discussion process, and if a new participant joins the discussion, he will be able to quickly enter the course of the matter by viewing just one letter.
No need to save on small things! The transfer of "extra" quoted text in 1KB volume when connected to the Internet at a speed of 1Mb will take less than 0.01s. His absence may require minutes or even hours of personal time for your respondent to remember what was being discussed, or to get on the course.

PS These recommendations are mandatory for implementation when conducting correspondence by e-mail within the framework of training in our courses.
PPS Having taken a job in an organization, forget everything that is written above, and use its corporate standards of record keeping.