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Lesson 12. Writing E-Mail > Composing an E-Mail Message - Pg. 51

Writing E-Mail Caution 51 Keep in mind that e-mail, while having the immediacy of voice communication, can also have the permanence of written communication. Don't write anything in an e-mail you wouldn't write in amemo--it may become more public than you'd like. Why Are You Writing? Since it's so easy to send e-mail, it is easy to fall into the habit of sending it without considering why the content of the message matters, and who it matters to. This wastes both your time and that of your recipients, if it results in your sending messages that didn't really need to be sent at all. Similarly, a telegraphic subject line is even more critical in e-mail than in other communication--it will enable your recipients to quickly understand why this e-mail--among the many in their inboxes --is important, and should be read and acted on immediately. A telegraphic subject line is one that very succinctly conveys the subject and nature of the message. Assuming you decide that the content of your message does matter, you can take one additional step to ensure that your communication is as effective as possible: namely, ask yourself whether you need to send this e-mail or can achieve your objective in some other way. If a quick phone call or short conversation with the intended recipient is easier, quicker, and will suffice to meet your objective, you may decide to forgo e-mail in favor of other forms of communication. Plain English Who Is Your Audience? As noted, one of the tremendous benefits of e-mail is that it is so easy and efficient to send copies