For most businesses, e-mail is the preferred choice for correspondence. With its widespread use in the workplace, it is important to follow some e-mail etiquette basics and treat it like a business communication.
E-mailing is quick and easy, and that’s why we love to use it. However, it can have some pitfalls if we don’t take some care before hitting the send button.
Always make sure your messages are addressed to the intended recipients. It can save you unwanted grief or embarrassment. If you ever do find that an e-mail has been sent to the wrong e-mail address, be sure to send an apology to that person.
E-mails should be personally addressed. Begin and end each message with appropriate greetings. “Please” and “thank you” go a long way in e-mails as well.
The subject line should accurately reflect the content of your e-mail. It should be short in length, but meaningful to the reader. In some cases it may make the difference on whether your e-mail is read at all.
Assume your reader may be viewing your e-mail on a phone or in a preview pane. People decide quickly which e-mails to read or to delete. Place the important facts and information at the top of the e-mail.
Keep e-mails brief and to the point, but type in complete sentences. Phrases or incomplete thoughts are not a clear way of communicating.
Do not use social abbreviations that are commonly used in text messages and Twitter for business e-mails. The use of slang and shortcuts in business communications can cause communication errors and create bad impressions.
Take the time to check your grammar and make sure there are no typos. Mistakes can change the meaning of your e-mail and can also take away from your credibility.
Pay attention to the tone of your e-mails, as tone can be hard to judge without actually hearing the words spoken or seeing body language. You want to come across courteous, respectful and open. Your e-mails form an impression of whom you are.
If by chance, you receive an e-mail that has caused you anger or frustration, resist the temptation to fire off a quick response. Take a moment to reread the message from the sender to make sure there is no misinterpretation. It’s easy with e-mail to unintentionally read between the lines.
Keep in mind, whenever you write an e-mail, it can potentially be read by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Posting or forwarding of private e-mail is copyright infringement; and even though it isn’t right – e-mails are often forwarded to others without the permission of the author.
E-mail is a vital form of business communication in today’s fast-paced global world. Review your e-mail before sending to ensure your message is clear and concise, the tone and wording are appropriate, and the message is going to the intended recipients.