Email is probably the most commonly used form of written communication in the business world today. Sometimes, it’s too common. There are times when email is not the best or most efficient way to convey your message.
See our chart below for the best times to use email and the best times not to use email.
|Use Email When You…||Don’t Use Email When You…|
|Send a message to a large group||Require an immediate response|
|Provide information that requires no action||Need to send a long message|
|Send attachments||Want to ensure intent/emotions come across clearly|
|Want a written record of discussions||Discuss a complex topic or any topic where you expect a lot of back and forth conversation|
Need to accommodate alternate schedules
(shift work or time zone differences)
|Send sensitive or confidential information|
|Schedule meetings||Communicate with someone who doesn’t have easy access to email or has indicated they don’t want email communication|
If you have decided email is not your best option, you will need to decide the best way to communicate your message. This may end up not being a written message at all. There are times when phone conversations, meetings, or face-to-face discussions are the most efficient and effective way to communicate.