Email Etiquette Tips

Did you know that in 2015, as a global population, we sent and received over 205 billion emails on a daily basis? Over half of those emails were business related and the number is expected to grow by 3% each year. Since email communication remains to be prevalent and relevant in today’s business world, you have to bring your A-game to your correspondence.

After 30 years of friendly and professional services we here at A Courteous are communication experts. Read on to learn 5 email etiquette tips that will help save your professional reputation.

1. It’s not a text; it’s an email.

A number of business professionals read and reply to emails using their smartphones; mobile communication has never been easier. On average, it takes us less than 5 seconds to read a text message and we tend to reply with the same lightning speed.

Let’s take a look at some email and text messaging statistics for 2015:

When receiving so many business emails and text messages on the same device you cruise your Facebook profile on, one may forget to separate the two. All working individuals must create a professional image that says, “I am an expert in my field. You want to do business with me and the company I represent.”

In order to keep an impeccable professional status with colleagues, clients and consumers, you have to give business emails the time and consideration they deserve. All of your business emails must contain an informative subject description, professional greeting and friendly closing.

2. Match email tone with its recipient.

When you speak to the colleague you have been working next to for five years, you adapt to a unique casual communication style. When you greet a new prospective client that you have been trying to gain business from, you have a certain formal and respectful communication style.

The tones you use to speak to various people in your life should be translated into your emails. By following this tip, you will reflect a strong and constant communication style the recipient of your email can appreciate and respond to. Be aware of who is going to be reading your email and keep your relationship and past communications in mind when drafting an electronic letter to them.

Email tones all business professionals must avoid no matter who the recipient is:

  • • Sarcastic or Ironic Undertones
  • • Inappropriate Humor
  • • Too Casual or Informal in Language
  • • Whiny or Gossipy Statements

Since we all have had different experiences in life and business, we all contain different perspectives of the world. Do not automatically assume that the recipient of your email will get your off-colored joke or italicized ironic comment. Save the emphasizes for when you speak in person and can directly control the tone perceived.

3. Would you want your boss reading that email?

Of all the email etiquette tips we provide in this article, if you want to be an indispensable professional within a company, you must be discreet. Discretion defined is, “the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing confidential information.”

If you are debating whether or not to hit the send button on a personal, attacking or insulting email to a co-worker or client, take a moment. Ask yourself one important question, “Would you want your boss reading that email?” If the answer is no, trash that email immediately.

Remember when you passed notes in class when you were younger? Those notes were physical and tangible items that once passed, you knew had the potential to be intercepted by the teacher and read aloud. Since emails are digital, it’s hard to understand that there is really no private business email out there. Most employers require your acknowledgement and permission to read your business emails in the initial employee paperwork you filled out when being hired. So save any confidential or unprofessional comments for face to face communications.

4. Grammar is important for your professional image.

You’re telling the recipient of your message one of three things when you have a grammatical error in your email:

  1. 1. You’re uneducated;
  2. 2. You’re inattentive;
  3. 3. You’re overworked.

You don’t want any professional contact judging your competence or education because of a poorly structured sentence. You don’t want a supervisor or colleague thinking that you don’t pay attention to detail because of a misspelled word. You most certainly don’t want a potential customer or client thinking that you are too busy to handle new business.

Take your time, read your email in draft form and hit the spell and grammar check button before sending. A little attention to detail will go a long way in building a professional reputation.

5. Watch out for dead silence or reply all over-kill.

This email is simple to understand, but difficult to follow. You don’t want to build an unprofessional pattern of not responding to emails in a timely matter. Sure, there are times when an email requires some investigative work on your part before replying. If you are unable to reply immediately, go ahead and shoot the email sender a quick message confirming receipt of their email and your expected response time.

Likewise, over-replying or hitting that reply all button can be a nuisance and attack your professional image and character. Be sure not to scatter your replies in multiple emails when a single response is appropriate. Don’t cc or reply all to individuals that are not a part of the email subject as a CYA mechanism. It makes you look petty and desperate and will not properly get your viewpoint across to all recipients.

BONUS TIP: A solution to put all business emails to the test.

Still debating on whether a specific email lacks courtesy or professionalism? Imagine that you are placing that email on your business letterhead. Do you think the language, tone and grammar increases or decreases your professional image?

Follow Our Business Tips and Advice For More Email Etiquette Tips


Originally published at courteouscom.com.