With the frequent use of e-mail as a communication method, it is important to remember to remain professional and not fall into the trap of being too casual. Here are four easy ways to ensure your e-mail communication stays professional:

Tone. Re-read your message to be sure it conveys the tone you want to set. Is the message urgent? Congratulatory? Questioning?

Conciseness. Businesspeople are busy. Don’t add extra words if they are not needed. Keep your e-mail messages brief and to-the-point.

Pre-empt questions. Think of your message from the recipient’s point-of-view and try to answer questions before they are asked.

Use specific subject lines. Rather than title an e-mail “Question” or “Response,” be specific with the subject line. Your recipient will be more likely to open the e-mail if he or she knows what it is about.

Utilizing these techniques on a regular basis will put you in professional e-mail mode. Eventually, they will become just another part of the e-mail process and you will be deemed a successful e-mail communicator.