General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones

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checkitnice:
What is considered to be standard business etiquette for emails, when one person is using a computer and the other is obviously using a phone?  I am at my wits' end here! 

We are in the middle of purchasing our first home.  The realtor that we started to use was a mess.  I would email her from home or work, with well thought out emails, and receive what were basically text-speak back from her.  We stopped using her very quickly.  (Protip - if your client's email siggy says "blahblah DISTRICT COURT" - the excuse of "I send emails while I drive" doesn't fly.  I'll see you when you get pulled over.)

The realtor that I have now is very nice and helpful, but am I being a burden by sending long emails that she may be reading on a phone?  I like to communicate via email so that I can go back and read things over.  She told me from the beginning that email is perfect for any questions, but it seems like more and more people are using email from small devices, leading to short (not concise) replies. 

MrTango:
I think there's no reason to tailor the length of the email you are sending someone to the device they might be using when they read it.  Send the message conveying whatever information you need to convey and let the length of the email be what it needs to be.

If they think it's too long to read on their smart phone, they can choose to wait until they are at a computer to read and respond to that message.

If you receive an email on your smart phone and you don't want to type out a long response on your phone's tiny keyboard, there's nothing wrong with waiting until you get to a computer to respond.

ETA: I've had times when I've replied to an urgent email with something like "Got your email.  Will respond as soon as I can get to a computer."

WillyNilly:
I have had a smart phone for many many years, way before many had them (I had the original Palm phone), and I can say honestly, its really not a hassle to read emails on them, at least for me.  Even if they are long.

And honestly, responding really isn't much of a hassle either.  I do tend to keep things brief, but I never use text speak - smart phones have full keyboards and email programs don't have character limits like texting. Anyone choosing to use improvised spelling and bad grammar is doing just that choosing to use those things.  Its not a limitation of the device they are on, its a limitation to their realization of how unprofessional those actions are.

Your agent told you emailing is fine, so feel free to email.

But you do specifically mention "long emails" - honestly no matter what they are reading on, computer or device, editing is always a your friend in writing.  Try to keep things as brief as possible - if its not possible to go less then a full page of text, so be it, but don't do a full page of text when one paragraph and 8 bullet points could have worked just as well.  Humans, in general, respond better to lots of white space and less text on a page.

Hmmmmm:

--- Quote from: MrTango on November 28, 2012, 04:15:56 PM ---I think there's no reason to tailor the length of the email you are sending someone to the device they might be using when they read it.  Send the message conveying whatever information you need to convey and let the length of the email be what it needs to be.

If they think it's too long to read on their smart phone, they can choose to wait until they are at a computer to read and respond to that message.

If you receive an email on your smart phone and you don't want to type out a long response on your phone's tiny keyboard, there's nothing wrong with waiting until you get to a computer to respond.

ETA: I've had times when I've replied to an urgent email with something like "Got your email.  Will respond as soon as I can get to a computer."

--- End quote ---

This. 

The only time I'll modify the length of an email is if someone has told me they'd be away from a computer for a few days.  Then I'll take that into consideration when sending emails. 

And since you state you are writing the emails so you can review, I'm assuming you are editing the content to include only pertinent information.

PastryGoddess:
Using text speak in business conversation is wrong and unprofessional in any case, whether it's coming from a phone or via computer.

I do business with my smart phone.  I have no problem reading and responding to long emails. If the response needed is more detailed, I might respond very quickly and say that I got their message and will respond in detail when I get back to a computer. 

I often typed several paragraph length responses on my BB and now that I'm using an Iphone and Ipad, I have no problem doing using those to do so either.

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