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Evaluating a Routine Email
Email continues to be the most common type of written communication in most businesses. You can follow a variety of principles to use it effectively: (1) use it for the right purposes, (2) ensure ease of reading, (3) show respect for others’ time, (4) protect the privacy and confidentiality of others, (5) respond promptly, (6) maintain professionalism and appropriate formality, (7) manage emotion effectively, and (8) avoid distractions.
Typically, as you write an email message, you should do the following: (1) provide a short, descriptive subject line, (2) use greetings and closings effectively, (3) keep your message brief yet complete, (4) clearly identify expected actions, (5) provide a descriptive and professional signature block, and (6) use attachments wisely.
Routine messages should be direct and front-loaded. The primary message should have ten words or fewer, and you should typically place it in the subject line of your email to immediately capture attention. Furthermore, the primary message should appear in the first sentence or two of the message and again in the closing if your message is several paragraphs long.
In the body of the routine message, you should provide short paragraphs with related details. To make sure your message receiver will comply, include all needed information. As you draft the message, aim for a helpful, professional, and reader-centered tone. Focus on making the message easy to read. Readers expect to understand your primary message in less than 10 to 15 seconds, so use short sentences and paragraphs. Paragraphs should generally be between 20 and 80 words. Design your message so that readers can find information in just moments. Use bullets, numbering, special formatting, and external links to relevant information to highlight key ideas.
Read the case below and answer the questions that follow.
SUBJECT: Proper Submissions
[Sentence 1] Thank you for traveling to our recent event “Marketing to Senior Citizens.” [Sentence 2] All of the following expenses will be reimbursed: air travel (up to $500 for coach-class airfare), meals (for up to $25 per meal), travel to and from the airport (for up to $75 per taxi ride), and some incidentals (up to $20 per day).
[Sentence 3] Reimbursement will be sent to you after the following steps are completed. [Sentence 4]An itemized spreadsheet of expenses must be received by October 15. [Sentence 5] A date, an explanation, and an expense amount should be included on the spreadsheet of expenses. [Sentence 6] Additionally, a single file with copies of all receipts (in .pdf form is best) must be attached in order for your reimbursement to be processed.[Sentence 7] The spreadsheet and copy of expenses should be sent to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. [Sentence 8] The phrase “Reimbursement for Sept 15 Marketing Event” should be written in the subject line.
Which of the following subject lines would be best for this email?
Please Submit Your Expenses before October 15
In Order to be Reimbursed Promptly, Please Remember to Submit Your Expenses within Four Weeks
Thank You for Attending the “Marketing to Senior Citizens” Event
Which of the following greetings would be best for this email?
Dear Valued Client,
To whom it may concern:
What statement best describes sentence 1?
It is a warm and an appropriate opening to the message.
It is irrelevant to this message.
It sets the wrong tone.
It is too long.
What is true of sentences 3 through 8?
Each sentence is a passive sentence.
Each sentence is an active sentence.
Each sentence is not specific.
Each sentence is not helpful.
Assume that you begin the second paragraph (sentences 3 through 8) with the following sentence: “Please email Teri Stephens (email@example.com) by October 15 with the following pieces of information:” Which items should you include in a bulleted list?
an itemized spreadsheet and a file with copies of all receipts
an itemized spreadsheet, a file with copies of all receipts, and the subject line
an itemized spreadsheet and the subject line
an itemized spreadsheet and bank account information
This email lacks a focus on the future. Which of the following calls to action would be the best focus on the future?
Feel free to contact me any time about developing campaigns to attract senior citizens.
Hurry and get your receipts in so you can get your reimbursement right away!
Good luck reaching your marketing goals!
Overall, which statement about the address block is most accurate?
It is professional and complete.
It is unprofessional and complete.
It is professional and incomplete.
It is unprofessional and incomplete.