Wednesday, March 15, 2006

email blessing, email curse

Does anyone write “real” letters anymore, now that email seems to be the preferred form of communication? True, it’s fast, efficient, and low-cost—and for most of us, there’s no way we would give it up without a fight. One common problem, however, is that because email messages are often typed and sent hastily, sloppiness tends to creep in: words are misspelled, sentences are incomplete, and grammar is less than perfect. This isn’t the type of impression any professional wants to make via writing, whether making initial contact with a potential new client or a co-worker in another department.

So, let’s revisit the original question: does anyone actually write, stamp, and drop a letter in the mailbox anymore? The answer is a definite yes. After all, you still receive a stack of mail to sift through every day, right? Depending on the situation, a number of instances are often better suited for tangible letters rather than electronic communication. Here are just a few examples:

Cover letter (with resume)
Job acceptance letter
Character reference letter
Pay raise request letterMarketing/sales letter

Today's tip: remember to communicate with your clients and customers in more ways than just using email. Receiving an actual letter will make them remember you!