Are business letters obsolete?

February 28, 2009

Email is quick, easy, and cheap–but it has some drawbacks. After you click “send,” how can you be sure that your message will reach the intended recipient? You can ask for confirmation, but it’s up to the recipient to comply.

Here are a few pitfalls of email correspondence:

1. Your email could be delayed and turn up days, weeks, or months after you have sent it… or never arrive at all.

2. Your email could be sent to an inactive address or an account that the owner no longer bothers to check because it has been engulfed by spam.

3. Your email could be screened out by the recipient’s spam filter.

If an email absolutely, positively must reach the intended recipient, be sure to ask the recipient to hit “reply” and confirm receipt. Then follow up if you don’t receive a reply within a day or two. If you don’t have time to follow up, then print out your letter, put in an envelope, and send it out the old-fashioned way!

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