We all have busy days, but it’s important to remember that email etiquette is key. Follow our helpful tips below to keep your emails professional and effective.
- Subject Line
Writing a meaningful subject line helps give the recipient an understanding of the email. If you choose to leave the subject line blank, you have missed a significant opportunity to inform your reader. With the vast amount of emails we receive in a day, it is important to keep the subject line specific.
Keep your message focused and think about its purpose. If you have a lot to go over, split your message into points to make it more concise. Human nature is to skim through bulky paragraphs and hit “reply” as soon as there is something to contribute. Breaking your email up will help ensure that everything is read. If your email is for multiple people, consider breaking up the text for each person, rather than having coworker #1 spend five minutes reading something that only pertained to coworker #2 (or consider sending separate, more detailed emails to each person rather than the whole group). Also, always make sure to proofread. Although typos are bound to happen here and there, taking the time to catch your mistakes will help your message look professional.
Try to avoid attachments unless absolutely necessary. Including attachments means that your reader has to download files and open additional programs (and the formatting is not always the best, especially on mobile devices). It may be easier and faster for you to copy and paste important information from the document into the email. Attachments also take up bandwidth and could carry viruses.
- Formal vs Informal
Understand the situation and reply accordingly. It may be okay to be informal to a close colleague and use abbreviations, but this may not be the case with external personnel. A good rule of thumb is to keep all external emails formal and professional.
Try to respond with promptness. Even if you can’t read the whole email, or work on the task that was asked, it is important to recognize that you received the email and respond. Consider responding with “Sorry, I have a meeting this afternoon but will take a look afterwards and get back to you” to acknowledge the reader so that they aren’t left in the dark. If you are away, remember to set your autoresponder or forward your emails to the appropriate person to ensure matters are dealt with in a timely fashion.