Practicing proper email etiquette in the workplace is crucial for employees to come across as intelligent, respectful, and professional.
They blow up our inboxes with junk, but also give us information vital to the way we do our jobs. Yes, it’s time to talk about emails. In many companies, emails are the primary source of business correspondence. Surprisingly, many business professionals may click the “send” button on emails that are misspelled, inappropriate, and unprofessional.
Practicing proper email etiquette in the workplace is essential in coming across as intelligent, respectful, and professional. Let’s talk about business emails and look at helpful hacks to make sure your email communication packs a positive punch.
Thinking you’ll get a faster response by sending your message to their personal email address is rude and unprofessional.
Email etiquette rules dictate that you send business correspondence to a person’s professional email address. Thinking you’ll get a faster response by sending your message to their personal email address is rude and unprofessional.
If you don’t have a contact’s business email, and want to send them professional correspondence, email and ask them for their company email address. Then contact them during regular work hours.
Use professional email templates
Lay out a business email as you would an old-school letter. First comes a professional salutation with the person’s name, then the body of the email, and, finally, your signature. Leaving off the recipient’s name at the top or failing to “sign” your email is too casual and can damage your professional image. Many different types of email templates are available, depending on the intended audience.
This is one thing you don’t have in a paper letter. Business email etiquette calls for a subject line that summarizes your email content. Make it as concise as possible. Try to write your subject line in under 10 words if possible. Avoid vague subject lines like “Just following up” or “Need more info” as these don’t offer the recipient any insight into the email’s contents.
The salutation is clear enough, so let’s go to the heart of the email. As with subject lines, the body of the email needs to be as concise as possible. Nobody wants to open up an email and see 4 or 5 long paragraphs of text.
Try telling your story or making your request in 3 short paragraphs. Making your point quickly is more likely to get your emails read, and get a speedy response.
- In the first paragraph, politely explain who you are.
- In the second paragraph, tell them what you want from them.
- Then, in the third, sum it up and ask for a response. If you want a response by a specific date, include it here.
Use exclamation points and bolded words sparingly in the body of professional emails. You might use emojis, too, but keep them sparse and stick to thumbs up or smiley faces. If you’re in doubt, leave them off.
Clear email copy saves the reader time and showcases proper email etiquette.
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The way you sign off in an email should follow etiquette rules. Use a proper closing like “kind regards,” “sincerely,” or a simple “thank you.”
Using your full name is another professional sign of respect. Finally, add your contact information, including your company name and company website as part of your signature.
Be careful with attachments
Sending attachments is risky, because many people won’t click on them. Large ones are also cumbersome and take up lots of storage space.
If you’re going to include an attachment in your business email correspondence, name it clearly. This helps the recipient understand what it contains and why they should open it.
You should also compress the file before you attach it to minimize the space it takes up in the inbox. This also makes downloading quicker.
Double check before sending
Nothing makes a bad impression faster than bad grammar and spelling. And this is true for all forms of written communication. Don’t send your email until you’ve closely reviewed it for proper spelling and grammatical errors. Also proofread it to make sure it sets the correct tone. Often, emails come across less friendly and more curt than our speaking voices.
Don’t send your email until you’ve closely reviewed it for proper spelling and grammatical errors. Also proofread it to make sure it sets the correct tone.
Other important email etiquette tips
If you’re emotional when you write the email … avoid the “send” button. If you feel frustrated or angry, step away from the keyboard and cool down. Writing emails when you’re emotional may cause you to say things more forcefully than you would otherwise.
Calm down and read the email before you send it.
Brevity is your friend. We’re saying this again. Long-winded emails may miss the mark and not get read or responded to in a timely fashion. Strive to be clear and concise with your messaging.
Using all caps is a BIG NO. Capital letters certainly draw attention to a point, but most readers feel like they are being yelled at. A few words in bold-face or italics can go a long way. Never write entire sentences in all-caps. It’s a sure-fire way to turn your recipient off.
Remember that your email can be forwarded to other parties beyond the intended recipient. Never write something in an email to one person in a company that you wouldn’t want everyone to read.
Email etiquette in the workplace
Mastering proper business email etiquette is essential to maintain a professional image. After all, you probably send dozens of emails every day. Knowing how to craft a concise, professional email that gets your point across and how to proofread it for spelling, grammar, and tone maximizes your email’s effectiveness. “Giving a good email” helps you enjoy faster responses.
Need further assistance in mastering the art of communication? Zenefits can help HR professionals and leadership teams strengthen the effectiveness of their organization’s communication.