Etiquette for Professional Emails

The Dos and Don’ts of Email Etiquette: Professional Emails

Now the professional world has changed; the use of email became a common and essential part of work life. We spend our significant portion of our work time reading emails and answering them.

While we try to work efficiently and quicker, we must remember the social rules and etiquette that are required for any form of communication. Here are some quick tips about email etiquette.

Addressing Emails:

Write a clear subject line: The subject should be concise and in line with the email’s message. Adequacy of the subject header is critical if you want someone to read your message. In my experience, depending on the subject line, many emails are ignored by reading the subject line.

Recipients: The email should be clear for the recipient. To whom you are addressing and expecting the response. Keeping too many personnel in “to”, it is less likely that you will get an answer. Probably everyone is confused about who needs to respond.

Use of CC and BCC: 

The carbon copy (CC) and blind carbon copy (BCC) features are useful, but if it is used appropriately.

The CC feature is issued when you want to ensure that other important stakeholders are also informed about communications. As a sender, you need to think while marking other stakeholders in CC. Only relevant stakeholders should be marked in CC. 

The BCC feature allows you to send the email to someone without others knowing it. Generally, this future is used when sending informative emails to the group or multiple recipients, where they need not know each other.

The setting of tone:

Know your audience: while writing, keep in mind that to whom you are addressing the email and who are your recipients.  

Is the recipient is a friend? Colleague? OR Your boss? Set the tone accordingly. Keep in mind that what impression you want to build.

Tone counts: When you are communicating using in person, your body language counts. However, while you are conveying the message by writing an email, three is no indicative body language. The reader will go by the word choice! So, use your words carefully and thoughtfully.

Keep yourself calm: Never send any email while you are in a hurry or annoyed or irritated. It will influence the tone of writing.

Do not treat anyone with disrespect: Don’t badmouth any colleagues, customers, or business partners. This will embarrass you at in later time. You will lose respect in people’s minds.

Content of message:

Start-up: Start your email with a professional salutation and greetings. Do not use informal language, such as “Hay” or “Yo”. Instead, use “Hello” or “Hi”. To be more formal, you can use “Dear John”. Avoid using short names. Direct connections with the recipient can be established simply by addressing the person by name. A positive word will always have an impact and the recipient feels good and positive.

Stay concise and to the point: It’s always best to keep your emails short and to the point. Recipients will only read the first few lines and decide whether to read entirely or not. The reader should immediately know what you intend to say.

Formatting: The content should not be too busy. To improve readability, choose a select professional font. The text should be probably black and keep the font size between 10 and 12 points. Divide the text into [paragraphs and keep the space between.

Use headings, bullets, and numbering to summarize your points. This will provide mode clarity to the content.

Attachments: 


1. Choose to use an attachment to share additional information.
2. Use smaller size attachments in the mail and only send required attachments.
3. Specify in content and set a context for an attachment.

Proofread the email content: Once the email is written and ready to send, proofread it. Check for spellings errors, homonyms, grammar, punctuation errors, and formatting issues. Almost all the email tools support spelling checker; use it. Check for the recipients’ email addresses. The mail should go to the correct recipient only.

Conversation closer and signature: Use appropriate closing remarks such as “best regards”, “warm regards”, “thank you” or any other appropriate phrase. Include your name or a signature with an email. Keep the signature simple informative and visually appealing. It should be mobile-friendly.

Response Time: 

Prefer to respond to email as fast as possible. Anyone who sends the email would expect a return response in 24 hours; whether it is your colleague, customer, partner, or yourself. If you think, responding with complete information would take time; let the recipient know when to expect a detailed response. In case if you receive the email by mistake instead of someone else, you should let the sender know that you received an email by mistake.

Read a message carefully: 

While responding to anyone’s email, read email content carefully.

Replying and forwarding emails:  1. Do not “Reply to all” if not necessary.
2. Determine the appropriate group of recipients.
3. Do not forward an email if it is not relevant to someone.

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