Email is widely used in business environments and so often that it has become a necessity to create a standard practice for handling them. The resulting protocol is known as “email etiquette.” Anyone operating in the professional sphere will do well to learn this set of rules. The paragraphs below detail some of the more prominent points of etiquette while emailing.
Email Only When Necessary
You may expect someone to post on their social media every few minutes, but that behavior isn’t appropriate in a professional atmosphere. Work emails should connect with job-related activities, and should be sent only when needed. Due to the nature of the environment, employee inboxes are often littered with email messages. A smart company may implement an email retention policy to help keep email accounts clean, reduce network clutter, and reduce the risk of data theft.
Be Specific on the Subject Line
People have to deal with emails constantly throughout the day, making it easy to lose track of important messages. An email sitting in their inbox without a written subject will leave the recipient confused or be left unread. One little email sent without a subject line may seem innocent enough, but imagine what would happen if that number multiplied. Aim to write a brief subject with a call-to-action to make exchanges flow more smoothly.
Greet in a Professional Manner
Salutations! Actually, this is considered an informal greeting that you should save for casual settings. Business emails should include a proper greeting along the lines of:
- Good morning
- Good afternoon
- Good evening
The next word should include their title and last name, followed by a comma. Alternatively, you could omit the title and use just their first name. If you do not know their name, you may use Sir or Madam. It is up to you to make the call for each situation.
Cut Out the Excess
There is a fine balance between an extravagantly long email and an uninformative short email. In general, you want to keep your emails relatively brief, but with enough information that the receiver does not need to send a reply email to request more information. Emails should never contain excess information that the recipient does not need to know, as this takes up valuable time to read the text that could have been used elsewhere.
Business correspondences follow an intuitive procedure that focuses on simplicity and the absence of emotion. You can expect company emails to be concise, formal, and detailed enough to provide just the necessary information to get the message across. You will need to include a subject line, salutation, and introductory sentence at the beginning of the email. The end of the message should include closing words, a signature, title, your company, contact information, and an optional link to your website.
Check Your Spelling and Grammar
Everyone will make mistakes in their written exchanges, but you should always do your best to minimize the number of occurrences. Nothing screams “unprofessional” louder than misspelled words and improperly formed sentences. After you write a draft of your message, take the time to read it again to smooth out the wrinkles and make it sound like something you would be proud of sharing. A few extra minutes spent proofreading an unsent message is often worth the few extra minutes it takes to complete such a task.
Respond With Haste
Nobody expects you to respond to their email promptly, but you should attempt to follow up as soon as you find the time to do so. Everyone has their own work to do, so it is understandable (and even normal) for you to reply hours later. You do not need to explain why it took so long for you to craft the message; simply draft the message as if you had just received it minutes ago.
You already use proper etiquette every day, which makes interacting with other people painless and even pleasant. The business world calls for equally functional procedures to make engaging with colleagues and clients feel more professionalo