Author Topic: Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones  (Read 2777 times)

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checkitnice

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Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones
« on: November 28, 2012, 04:07:48 PM »
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

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Re: Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones
« Reply #1 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."
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 04:18:55 PM by MrTango »

WillyNilly

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Re: Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 04:37:09 PM »
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

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Re: Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2012, 04:44:09 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."

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

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Re: Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2012, 04:50:04 PM »
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.

HorseFreak

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Re: Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2012, 05:45:43 PM »
If a business person has a problem using the teeny on-screen keyboard to respond they need to get one of the several phones that has a full physical keyboard. I don't think long emails are a problem for all the reasons previous posters have mentioned.

sourwolf

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Re: Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 05:49:14 PM »
It's slightly more work to reply to an email on a smartphone (and autocorrect is evil!) but it's definitely not that big a deal and certainly no excuse for text speak. I have no problem reading an email on my phone but I can read them vertically or horizontally and I don't know if everyone can/if it would make a difference.

checkitnice

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Re: Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 05:58:52 PM »
Okay, so it sounds like I'm being fairly reasonable.  My "long" emails are not verbose by any means.  I get right to the point.  But when I send an email with three or four questions, and get a response that only marginally touches on one and ignores the rest, it irks me. 

The most infuriating part of the bit with the first realtor was that our communication styles were so different that I told her, very tactfully, that we were going to go in a different direction but that I really did appreciate her help.  THEN I got a long, fully thought out email begging for me to stay with her.  Um, no. 

Sharnita

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Re: Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 07:48:53 PM »
Were the questions all things she could/ahould answer off the top of her head?  If she felt some questions required an urgent response while others took more looking into, then she might have been motivated by urgency.

KaosP

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Re: Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2012, 04:54:50 PM »
But when I send an email with three or four questions, and get a response that only marginally touches on one and ignores the rest, it irks me. 

Unfortunately I don't think this is limited to those using smart phones; I've gotten so that for certain people I actually number my questions so that it's clear I have more than one for them to answer! :)

WillyNilly

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Re: Sending/receiving emails and "smart" phones
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 05:26:47 PM »
But when I send an email with three or four questions, and get a response that only marginally touches on one and ignores the rest, it irks me. 

Unfortunately I don't think this is limited to those using smart phones; I've gotten so that for certain people I actually number my questions so that it's clear I have more than one for them to answer! :)

My boss is like that.

What I've found works is to send him individual emails.  On the one hand it seems annoying to send and even for him to receive 4 emails, each with just one question.  But actually it ends up working out well because he can answer each one individually, plus when I go back to look up an answer, each issue is its own email (and therefore easily findable by subject).