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Improve Communications with E-Mail Practices

There are two types of people in this world.

There are people who are very attentive with their e-mail, always staying on top of their correspondence. There are also people who have hundreds of unread e-mails backed up, sitting in their inbox.

In any kind of business, e-mail practice (and communication, in general) is essential. In 2012, an average worker was spending two and a half hours every day dealing with e-mail. That’s over a quarter of their day sifting through e-mails, reading and responding to them.

There are a few key points that should be made about e-mail etiquette.

Respond in a Timely Manner

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman and former CEO of Google, and Jonathan Rosenberg, former Senior Vice President of Products of Google, believe that the number one e-mail habit that the most effective people share is that they respond to their e-mails very quickly.

In a write-up about their “Rules for E-mailing,” we learn that some of the busiest people that they work with still respond to their e-mails as quickly as possible. In doing so, this sets up “a positive communications feedback loop”.

In fact, responding efficiently has additional benefits. In doing so, you may prevent people from waiting around for an answer before potentially starting work on a project or show them that their matter is as important to you as it is for them.

Clear Inbox Constantly

Seriously. I’m having a panic attack just thinking about an inbox with hundreds of unread e-mails.

The most important thing you should remember is separating personal and potential spam e-mails from your business e-mail. This means you shouldn’t use your business e-mail when signing up for any websites that may share your e-mail. This can keep your inbox clear of any unnecessary e-mails.

In addition, make sure you are deleting e-mails that you know you don’t need or moving them into folders after the tasks have been completed. In keeping your inbox clear, you can prioritize and address each e-mail accordingly. In simpler words, a clear inbox is like a clear work desk!

Be Concise

In general, e-mails should be brief with only necessary pieces of information. If and when possible, keep your message brief by focusing on important notes. The Google duo also mention a quote that is attributed to the writer Elmore Leonard, in which he says about his success: “I leave out the parts that people skip.” This applies in this case as well — e-mails are usually full of stuff that people can skip. So, instead of having readers and potential consumers skip over everything you’ve written, keep your message as direct as possible.

It’s also been suggested that shorter, more concise e-mails often showcase a better response rate. This makes sense when you think about the fact that lengthy e-mails may either overwhelm the reader or have them set it aside with the intention of coming back to them later. In doing so, they may take a longer time to respond or may even forget about the e-mail.


Judy Olson, a professor of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine has noted that “in mediums where people cannot see facial expression or hear voice intonation,” people assume things. This is one of the many reasons why e-mailing and how you handle your e-mails are crucial; a no response, for instance, can show disinterest. In this sense, e-mail etiquette is an important factor for anybody with or without a business.


Daily Mail:




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