Considering how long email has played a role in our lives, it’s easy to assume we know how to use it effectively. However, good email etiquette is something that will never go out of style. Here are a few things to consider when drafting your next professional email:
1. Write an Appropriate Subject Line
Although this is viewed by some as not being an essential part of an email, it’s important that the subject clearly identifies the point of the email in just a few words. A good subject line leaves no mystery for the recipients to guess what the email is about, and helps later if you need to search your inbox for it.
2. Start with a Proper Greeting
Just like writing a letter, it’s polite to add a greeting or salutation to the start of every email. It’s good practice to address someone by name in the greeting, but whether it’s the first or last name depends on the subject and formality of the email. For example, “Hi Jim” would work fine for an email sent between co-workers, but “Dear Mr. Smith” would be more appropriate for a formal email such as writing to a prospective employer.
3. Write with a Respectful Tone
With the use of emoticons on the rise, it’s easy to want to slip these in an email and type the exact way we speak. However, be conscious of the recipient(s) of the email with the understanding that it could get forwarded on to individuals that it wasn’t originally intended for. Being polite and professional always reflects well on yourself and your company.
4. Get Straight to the Point and Keep it Short
The reason for the email should be addressed at the start. Studies show that you’re more likely to get a timely response if the purpose is called out at the beginning. However, the point can be lost if there are multiple paragraphs to follow, as a large amount of text can be overwhelming to take in. If it’s necessary to address a number of things in one email, bullet points are easier to read and ensure that none of your points get lost or overlooked.
5. Proof Read and Use Spell Check
Writing an email can feel like a small accomplishment that you want to send right away, but it’s important to proof read and run spell check before clicking the send button. A typo or spelling mistake can turn one word into a completely different one, and could even be a little embarrassing when done in a professional capacity. Click the spell check button that appears on the email template, but be sure to proof read to catch anything that spell check didn’t catch.
What are examples of good email etiquette that you have used recently?