Prevent horrifying, unintended messaging errors with these tips from Sparta Consulting Group.
Have you ever mistakenly sent an email to the wrong person? Or worse to a wrong group of people? Slowing down by just a few seconds and systematically reviewing the following elements will ensure that you come across as professional and credible.
Here is a checklist to run through before pressing Send:
- Double check the recipients – Before pressing Send, always double check the recipients to make sure it’s going to the right person or group of people! When you’re multitasking or working at breakneck speed it’s easy to click on the wrong address.
- Ensure the right thread. It’s easy to click into a message box and write a message in a previous thread!
- Set your message aside. Don’t send it immediately, especially when the words you are sending have an emotional foundation. Even delaying sending for five minutes will give you a renewed perspective.
- Check for autocorrect errors. Be careful not to allow autocorrect to change the meaning of the sentence. Here’s a hint if you haven’t already discovered this the hard way: autocorrect is not always ‘correct’!
- Don’t rely on spell check. While it’s a useful feature, it’s not enough — particularly when you’re writing a high-stakes email. Re-read your message out loud. Hearing your message will allow you to detect errors or omissions your eyes have glossed over. Better yet, re-read your message backwards—trick your brain into perceiving errors.
- Find a second pair of eyes. When sending an important email, ask someone you trust to look over your message. If you have time, a second pair of eyes is an editorial best practice. Most people can’t see all the errors in their content. If your message is important and going to an important person, it’s important enough to ask someone to read it through, especially for glaring errors.
- Review top level content, titles, headlines and sub-headlines. The worst kind of error is that which pops out in the first line! And headline errors tend to jump off the page at the reader. Check your titles, headlines and subject lines to make sure they are correctly worded with correct punctuation and no misspellings.
A quick double check of these elements of your messaging can save a lot of embarrassment! Happy emailing!
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