YOU Magazine - August 2008 - More Email Etiquette By Page Moseley
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Lyn Bankowski     Lyn Bankowski
AVP/SR. Mortgage Loan Originator
Alaska USA Mortgage Company
Phone: 360-679-5633 / 360-969-5550
Fax: 360-279-1198
License: NMLS#304060 / CL-157293
Alaska USA Mortgage Company
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More Email Etiquette
By Page Moseley

More Email Etiquette - By Page Moseley

Before I started working for Deeper Media Inc. as a certified email trainer, I was in the real estate and mortgage industry for over seventeen years. One of the things that radically changed in this time was doing business over email. I didn't need it much a few years ago, but today you can't run your business without it. In fact, doctors, politicians and real estate agents are the top three professionals that will be using email more than ever in their everyday business. This is probably true in your business as well, especially if you provide professional services or manage people. Today, the world we live in is so fast-paced that email is the communication choice for everyone from business to pleasure activities.

When I started using email I didn't know what I was doing. Heck, just having a computer was new and scary to me. I made so many mistakes and it seems that all of them are still being made by a lot of people today. The young people of today, I call them "Thumb Warriors", have thrown spelling and grammar right out the window. Wait - Did I just say "young people"? Wow, I never saw that coming. Adults aren't much better, especially when it comes to respecting relationships and avoiding shortcuts. Tim Sanders, who wrote for a previous issue of YOU Magazine, founded Deeper Media Inc. and participated in the biggest study ever done on email usage and how it makes people feel. The first product of the study is an email training program that can get anyone up-to-speed on how to use email effectively.

Here is a tip from the "Dirty Dozen Rules of Email Etiquette" - a video we've produced to train people on email habits. I hope it helps you in your business and personal email life.

Rule #1: Don't give bad news over email

Remember, email is only good for saying yes, maybe, or the exchanging of harmless information. If you have to deliver bad news, criticize somebody, or talk about something emotionally charged, pick up the phone and have a conversation.
You'll do much better and here's why. People cannot decode intentions from an email. Dr. Albert Mehrabian a researcher at the University of California at Berkley did a study that lasted over two decades. He found that 55% of how we decode intentions is visual - what we see in facial expressions or body language. Thirty-eight percent is decoded audibly - by the tone or inflection used, and only 7% is decoded verbally, meaning the words themselves (on paper or on the screen).
When you send an email to people they can very easily get mixed messages because they can't feel your intent. What if you received this email? "Sorry your loan was denied" (two days before closing), or "We just received your property profile and, are you sure you own this house? There seems to be another name on the deed." What about criticism such as, "That's a really stupid idea" or what about, "I think you are wrong, and wish you'd do more research before you make suggestions like this!"?
These are things you should never send in an email. If you have bad or disturbing news, pick up the phone! If you do, you will increase your ability to accurately convey your intentions and information by over 500%! While face-to-face is always best for real communication, picking up the phone will help you communicate that you are a coach - not a dictator, or a friend - not an antagonist. Whatever you do, don't become tough over email and timid in person. Don't hide behind your laptop.

Here's a little bonus idea connected to this subject: If you have really good news to share, do not waste it in an email. In one of our studies we interviewed a woman I'll call Susan. She told us a story about her son and his dream to go to Tulane University. She happened to be home on the day his acceptance letter to the prestigious university came in the mail. She was so happy she just quickly sent him an email. He sent a reply "thanks". Later when she thought about that cold exchange she had with her son, she was in tears because of the missed opportunity. This could have been a moment they would have shared the rest of their lives. Instead it was just a pithy exchange - and a wasted opportunity to have a moment.

Your business is built on trust and communication. If you have really good news don't waste the chance to help build a relationship and collect some kudos. Pick up the phone and share "Just wanted you to know…you got the house" or "That's a great idea you have, we are going to green light it right away!" You'll get to enthuse in real time and properly communicate how happy you are for them. This is an important relationship-building moment that shouldn't be frozen by cyberspace.

If you have any questions or you would like to share an email horror story with me send me an email at or visit our website at Have a great day and thanks.

License AK# 157293 Washington Consumer Loan Company license# CL-157293 California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, License# 4131067

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