A Guide To Email Etiquette

Emails offer a more convenient and quick way of effective communication. They come in two types; business and personal emails. Email etiquette refers to the guidelines that one should follow when writing an email. These rules exhibit politeness as well as professionalism when communicating via emails. One should consider them well before sending an email.


Why Use Email?

Numerous benefits result from using email. These merits include:
• A simple and quick method of communication
• Cost-effective means of communication
• Most platforms are free
• Documents can be easily shared
• Can target many people in any given time


So, What Are Top 10 Best Ways to Perfect Email Etiquette?


Consider the following golden rules:



1. Understand Email Terms


The first crucial step to etiquette is familiarizing yourself with all the components of an email such as Attachment, Forward, Reply, To, Reply All, among others. Neither do you want to send sensitive details to the wrong recipient or struggle to attach a document to the email? Thus, you should first identify and understand the use of each component of the email you are using. Acronyms such as CC (Carbon Copy) and BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) will help you not only send an email to different recipients but also maintain privacy.



2. Clear Subject Lines


Beginning an email is one of the significant aspects that ensures that the right meaning of the email is guaranteed. Subject lines provide considerable insight into the email message. It should have a purpose as well as a distinct.
Also, subject lines should be short but always ensuring that the right messaged is conveyed. The recipient should be able to derive meaning just by the subject line used.
Desirable Features of a Subject Line:
• It should be clear
• Subject line should be brief and to the point
• Avoid using all caps subjects lines as the server may flag the email as spam
• Avoid vague words in the subject line
Using the recommended subject lines will attract the attention of the recipient, encouraging prompt reply.



3. Use Appropriate Salutations And Grammar


For the case of business emails, it is critical to refrain from too casual greeting lines. A greeting line carries the weight of how the recipient will react to the message. Remember that you could be addressing someone who likes to be referred to with associated respect.
Personal emails may attract casual greeting like ‘Hi’ and ‘Hey.’ Again, avoid being too formal when it comes to individual emails.
Use correct grammatical phrases that will bring out the intended meaning of the message. The use of correctly punctuated sentences is highly encouraged and should always be embraced.
Salutation and Grammar Tips:
• Use grammar checking tool
• Casual greeting for personal emails
• Formal greeting for business emails
• Use the right punctuation marks
• Avoid too informal and vague greetings



4. Understand Your Audience


You should know your recipients better. Understand their diversities to use the right language appropriately. For instance, using humor in your message can create unintended emotions to your recipients. Additionally, being too brief might be misinterpreted to rudeness. But, it all depends on whom you are addressing.
In other words, various individuals should be addressed differently. The email should derive the right emotions that you want to convey. Remember, the use of emails does not match the face-to-face type of communication, where you can observe the body language. Thus, before you click the ‘send’ button, evaluate your tone used in that email.



5. Always Proofread Your Email Before Sending


One of the common mistakes that people make is failing to proofread their message. You could have made some grammatical errors, used vulgar language or even wrong salutations. The only way to avoid such mistakes is by going through your email after you have finished crafting it. Correct every minute error that is present to make sure that your message is clear and relevant.



6. Avoid Shortcuts


Don’t use emojis, especially for business emails. Also, using irrelevant acronyms should be avoided. Recall, an email is a form of communication. The only difference with other styles is that it is an electronic means of communication. For this reason, observe that you are using meaningful words that relay the right information.
However, URL’s should be shortened instead of wholly pasting them in the message body. The best way to shorten the URL’s is by adopting the use of hyperlinks.
Shortcuts to Avoid:
• Emojis
• Difficult abbreviations
• Shortening people’s names



7. Watch Privacy


The use of emails is not entirely secure as an electronic trail is always left. Do not convey a piece of highly sensitive information via emails if it can bring discomfort when people unearth it. When sending a message to different recipients-you do not want to expose their addresses – consider using BCC for all other recipients’ addresses.



8. Timely Response


Avoid late email responses as it could cause dissatisfaction among the senders. It is advised to acknowledge that you have received the message promptly. When you quickly respond to the senders, they feel valued and that the message was successfully received.



9. Formatting And Attachments


You should learn the best readable fonts to use that promote the right message. For formal emails, use official fonts. Learn when to use specific colors and their meanings. Also, you should understand other formatting schemes such as bold, italics, and images, among others.
Keep in mind that emails have limited storage capacity. Hence, consider the sizes of the attachments to ensure successful delivery on the other end. Also, when attaching documents, consider their formats so that they will not be mistaken with viruses.



10. Consider A Signature Block


You should consider including a signature block. The block contains other relevant information like your alternative contact methods. Learn how to craft a better signature block to let the recipients know some information about you.


Other Do’s

• Keep email length short
• Use standard fonts
• Track your emails
• Fill all email areas correctly
• Set the right out-of-office replies
• Use a capable virus scanner
• Always thank the recipient
• Always reply to all emails
• Train your employees on the use of emails


Other Don’ts

• Try to avoid overuse of exclamation marks
• Avoid using many acronyms
• Don’t attach unnecessary documents
• Avoid religious and political quotes


Final Thoughts

The use of emails has become the order of the day in various sectors. Email etiquette is crucial and should be studied by everyone to ensure smooth and desired communication. The etiquette can dictate the length of the email, time to send the email, and the dos and don’ts of crafting an email. These basic principles give the right ways to write emails to anyone regardless of our cultural, religious, political, and economic differences.


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