THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF EMAIL ETIQUETTE
A huge amount of business correspondence is done by email in present day workplace. Used properly, emails can help us become more productive. However, when used improperly, it may lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings.
Let’s look into some basic rules of email etiquette:
1. ALWAYS START AND END YOUR EMAIL WITH A COURTEOUS GREETING AND CLOSING
A simple “Good Morning” or “Hello” will add a cheerful tone to your correspondence. Leave a good impression when ending your email with a “Thank you” or “Best Regards”.
2. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR SPELLING AND NEVER USE SHORT FORMS
Look up words in the dictionary or the Internet if you are unsure of how it is spelt. Re-read every email carefully for errors. You can use the spellcheck feature on your browser but spellchecks might change the words you meant into others. For example, it might spell “there” when you actually meant “their”. Short forms and slang words are also unacceptable as it comes off as informal.
3. USE GOOD GRAMMER
Treat every email as official documents like reports. Look out for lengthy sentences, verb tense and subject-verb agreement. Use proper punctuations and don’t overuse exclamation points. Certain words do require exclamation marks to indicate excitement, like “Congratulations”.
4. DON’T SHOUT OR USE EMOTICONS
Proper spelling also includes not typing in all capital letters. When sentences are written in all capital letters, it might give off the wrong impressions as if you are shouting. Emoticons like smileys and other symbols should also be avoided in business emails.
5. ONLY SEND EMAILS WHEN NECESSARY
Don’t annoy others with forwarded emails that are not related to your business. When replying, make sure not to click the “reply all” button. Unnecessary emails that are annoying will cause people to ignore all of your correspondences in the future.
6. NEVER SEND INAPPROPRIATE EMAILS
Profanity, rude jokes and sexually suggestive photos are offensive and unprofessional. The same goes to trash-talking coworkers or clients. Emails such as these might even constitute sexual harassment or slander.
7. RESTRICT YOUR PERSONAL USE OF THE COMPANY EMAIL
It is best to find out your company’s policy regarding the use of your business email. Your company email might not be private and subject to company review.
8. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Emails should be reasonably short and direct. Especially if you are writing a complaint email, walk away and come back to it later. Longer discussions should occur face to face, or on the phone. Email etiquette can leave a decent impression similar to handshakes. Use it wisely and it will boost your reputation as a respected professional.