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Email Etiquette for Business

EmailEtiquette

Email is a great way to communicate but many fail to use the proper etiquette in the business world. There are several unspoken rules that are needed to be followed to act professionally. Much like writing a formal business letter, your business email should always be mindful and include manners. Here are a few tips and guidelines to reflect your professionalism. Your emails are a reflection of you and the company you work for.

  1. Always properly label your emails with a professional subject line. Don’t hit reply from the last email you received and then start in on a new topic or subject matter. Don’t use all caps or exclamation marks in your subject line either as most times your email will be marked as spam.
  2. Address the recipient by name if possible.
  3. Always include a signature with your name, company name, and phone number. Even if you and the recipient have met before, it is common courtesy to add your information, should the email recipient wants to contact you quickly other than by email. This saves them the time to look you up or ask how to contact you.
  4. Respond in a timely matter.  Its not necessary to answer immediately but proper etiquette should be within 24 to 48 hours depending on the nature of the email and sender.
  5. Be care with confidential information. Refrain from discussing anything that is confidential. Think of it this way, if the email recipient forwards this to someone, would it get you in trouble?
  6. Avoid slang, or rambling in your email. A shorter, to the point email is much easier to read or follow and if the reader is on a mobile device its best to get to the point without all the rambling.
  7. When replying to a group, be cautious of who is on that list. If only one or two on the list actually need the reply, don’t send it to everyone. This is especially true if there are several on the reply…which brings us to number 8.
  8. Not everyone likes to share their email address. Have you ever been in a large group email and discovered the email address of someone you haven’t seen before? It’s rude to do a group email if you don’t know they want to share their email address with others. To avoid this you should use the Blind copy as a courtesy.
  9. Sending attachments shouldn’t be complicated. Warn people with large attachments so it doesn’t clog their email inbox. Don’t send attachments by themselves without text. No more than two attachments and clearly mark the subject line if more are to come (for example: Photos 1 of 3, next email, Photos 2 of 3, etc).
  10. Pick up the phone if the email needs to be discussed. When a topic has lots of parameters that need to be explained or negotiated don’t send an email. Call them!
  11. Avoid sounding angry. YES ALL CAPS MEANS YOU ARE YELLING! So does all exclamation marks!!!!!!!
  12. Refrain from sending one-liners. “Thanks” and “OK” are not necessary, even if you like getting the last word in edge-wise.