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9 Golden Rules for Email Correspondence in the Middle East
Electronic mail has become one of our primary modes of communication today, particularly for entrepreneurs who rely on it for business communication. Yet as familiar as entrepreneurs may be with the medium, it's still important to be aware of several key rules for creating a good impression over email in the Arab world.
- Be polite. The rule is not merely restricted to the Arab region. Always maintain polite conversation language in your email correspondence. Keep in mind that a written message does not reflect or render facial expressions and voice tones. Choose your words carefully to avoid sending the wrong message.
- Show sympathy. Healthy partner relations play a crucial part in sealing the deals. People in the Arab region tend to invest in traditional communication approaches that involve cordiality and friendliness. Make sure to be amiable and ask your interlocutor if he or she is doing well, but naturally and briefly.
- Show that you care. people in the Arab Region tend in their nature and character to do business with someone they know or classify as a friend. Pay attention to careful details relating to them, so that they would feel you care. Congratulate a person on taking on a new job, wish him or her a happy weekend or send your greetings on holidays and national days.
- Pick the right time. As with telephone calls, it's best to email at an appropriate timing. People in this region tend to give high importance to religious and national holidays, so try to respect peoples' unavailability during those times of year.
- Pick the right title. Spammy or unnecessary emails overload inboxes. Choosing the right title with a clear hint on the content, however, gives your message the best chance of being read.
- Be brief when possible. Every extra unnecessary word in your email is a waste of your reader’s precious time. Nowadays, people relying on email correspondence receive hundreds of emails on a daily basis. Only those messages that are brief and useful win the fastest replies.
- Sign your letter. Some names in the Arab region are so popular or similar that it makes it hard to recognize the sender. In any case, it helps to sign your letter with your name spelled in both Arabic and English, and to add your professional title and the company you represent.
- Never stop trying. Some people who are not familiar with internet and information technologies may actually not conduct the majority of their business communications over email. Yet they may welcome a different communication approach. Most of the time, you will need to build trust. Then communicating then becomes much easier.
- Reach out on multiple channels. Emailing is an easy task. It’s swift and practical. Nevertheless, several other vital means shape and boost your individual relations with your partners at work. Phone calls and personal meetings are also highly effective and help enrich and strengthen existing partnerships.
Ahmad is a writer and a tech analyst, passionate about technology and electronics. He is the founder of GadgetsArabia, the first tech blog in Arabic and the Editor-in-Chief of Swalif.Net. You can follow him on Twitter@ahmdgabr or by email at ahmedgabr[at]swalif[dot]net
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