A friend of ours was going to Costco, and sent an email to my wife and business partner, Angela, asking her if she needed him to get anything for her while he was there.
Her "NO THANKS" reply, mistakenly had the Caps Lock on when she responded. Our friend emailed back; "Okay, but don’t yell at me".
There is no doubt that email conversations are more subject to misinterpretation when the recipients can’t view body language, or hear your verbal inflections and tone.
While straight typed email messages can look like boring legal documents, with a little attention to detail they can have body language and tone.
Don’t hesitate to use the tools on your keyboard; bold type, italics, caps, pauses, icons, color, exclamation marks and more, to inject some life and body language into your messages.
Where applicable, include cartoon clips, video links, attachments and all of the tools at your fingertips, to hit home the points in your emails, in an entertaining and credible manner.
At the same time, you can also learn a lot about the personal style of those you receive emails from, if you read beyond the written word. If their salutation has a smiley face icon, or if they ask you about your weekend, you can respond in a similar style. Emails that are abrupt and to the point, will indicate yet another personal style, and also need to be answered in that style.
You are in the creative communications business. Exercising some creativity and paying closer attention to your email ‘body language’ and communications objectives, can ensure your message is perceived correctly.