Did you know? Email takes up to 28% of an average professional’s time. Still, individuals often overlook email etiquette in the name of productivity. However, there is a proper set of rules and tips to follow up in business emails, regardless of the hurry you are in.
Email is one of the most powerful modes of communication, both professionally and personally. Excellent email etiquette includes impeccable writing skills and making a difference between fruitful workplace relationships and potential misunderstanding, offense, or conflict. In fact, proper email etiquette won’t allow space for professionalism. However, it can also make your communication much more effective and help businesses avoid costly mistakes.
What is Email Etiquette?
Email etiquette refers to the principles that guide our behavior when sending and receiving emails. The basic code of conduct guides behavior when composing or responding to emails. You can easily tweak the email etiquette rules to fit the purpose or the targeted audience.
However, they are all meant to keep things super professional and show respect and understanding between the email correspondences.
Why is Email Etiquette important?
Following email etiquette rules will allow you to establish professionalism, build relationships in the workplace and represent your employer well enough. It also assists in making communications more efficient and prevents you and the business from getting into trouble.
Once you truly familiarize yourself with professional email, it will allow you to communicate respectfully with others and succeed in your career accordingly.
Let’s discuss the top email etiquettes every individual must know in corporate shenanigans.
1. Use a Dear or Hi, or nothing at all?
This is one of the most basic email etiquette that you must know. Wondering why the beginning is so important? Have you ever received an email that has your name misspelled? Well, then you know how irritating that could become.
If you are writing an email to a close colleague or a member of your team, a simple Hi will do it. If it’s an HR email, then you must act more professionally. You can mention the person’s title to greet them. It is fine to skip the greetings if you are responding to a previous email thread. It is only suitable when you have a previous context already.
2. To use or not to use the emojis?
Emojis can be a super fun way for coworkers to bond with each other. It is quite an underrated factor that assists in the usual team building. According to the survey, 39% of the senior managers believe using emojis in any work interaction is unprofessional.
To protect the company from misunderstandings, it is a good idea to set an emoji policy. Email etiquette rules depend directly upon the company’s principles, so be aware of whom you are sending the emojis to. If you send them to people you know well and will comprehend them, that is okay. If not, then don’t think about using the emojis altogether.
3. Always choose the right colors and fonts
Any email with a lot of bold, italics, and underlined text may appear aggressive or even unpleasant to the reader. While these features will be used to highlight a point, having too many of them can decrease the readability.
For one of the emails, use only one or two fonts. If you use too many fonts in your email, it will appear quite complicated.
Try choosing the best font for emails at your exposure which will look professional. Never use all capital letters. It seems as if you are yelling at the recipient, doesn’t it? Use colored text only when you feel like it. It is utterly essential, especially the red font. It can get quite intense.
4. Be super clear and concise
HR communications emails may include a long thread of messages and all the replies. You should always avoid repeatedly replicating the same information, requests, and queries.
You must have a clear goal and a purpose with a proper call to action in every email you send. Be brief, and double-check that the email clearly states what you want from respondents.
5. Use a professional email address
If employed with a company, you must use your company email address. However, use a personal email account. Whether you are a self-employed professional or like using it occasionally for work-related correspondences, you must be careful about the address you choose.
You must have an email address that conveys your name properly, so the recipient knows exactly who is sending the email. Never use an email address that is not suitable or appropriate for the workplace, no matter how much you love that funky name of yours.
6. Avoid usage of embarrassing grammar and spelling mistakes
Avoiding embarrassing grammar and spelling mistakes is one of the top practices for any email etiquette. Any poorly written document affects your credibility, it never has to be perfect. It sends a message of pure laziness and incompetence.
Your colleagues can get super irritated by emails that contain spelling and grammatical problems. They can infer that you are uneducated, careless, or even lazy to use the spell checker before sending out your message. Before you send out your emails, re-read, spell check, proofread and check for the recommended grammatical error beforehand.
7. Add up visual elements to engage the readers
Employees mostly disregard the HR emails – it is true, we all know it. It is mainly because HR communications are often text-based with the same set of emails. So why not incorporate visual elements to gauge employee engagement?
People tend to absorb and understand the visuals and interactive material better. So using infographics, GIFs, or short videos in HR communications can vastly add up to enhance employee communication. Another one of the strategies is to include the PS at the end of your emails. It creates an urgency to improve the persuasiveness of your argument. Check the usage of shorthand
Sometimes people use words like ASAP, FYI, ICYMI, and so on. Even the other abbreviations are quite evident in your knowledge base. Keep in mind that not everyone knows them. Mainly, it happens when you do not have a pre-existing relationship with the receiver. In such cases, you must send a brief glossary before sending out shorthand emails.
Suppose you have a connection with the recipient. In that case, you can easily create a brief, informative email with a list of bullet points. Remember in a professional setting, no one should have to Google anything to comprehend what you are saying.
8. Use exclamation points sparingly
Do you know the maximum number of exclamation points in a business email? Well, it goes to one. There are no hard and fast rules on when you should be using the exclamation point. Otherwise, you will look quite childish and unprofessional.
But honestly, this punctuation should be only used when you genuinely want to express a sense of excitement or joy. So sending out a short note to a coworker stating, Congratulations on the promotion! Is quite appropriate.
9. Refrain the unnecessary humor
Without having the right tone and expression to accompany them, even one of the most hilarious punch lines can land miles away from their target. That is why humor often gets lost in translation in any email. Sarcasm can also become dangerous in written formats, as the reader can simply interpret the meaning as anything opposite of what you said.
Unless you are super tight with the recipient, you must avoid joking or using humor in any professional email. It is not even about the risk of being misunderstood. However, whatever you find funny might not be funny to the recipient.
10. Know the right time to use BCC
The full form for BCC means blind carbon copy, the email addresses of all the recipients are not visible to one another just like in CC. You are only supposed to use this email etiquette while sending out an email to only when you are sending to a group of people who do not need to know each other.
If you are introducing somebody new to the team or company, using the BCC will confuse everyone as nobody would know whom you are referring to. Instead, simply use the “to” box, so everyone’s email is visible.
11. Never add the ‘Sent from my phone part
Anyone over your contact list will be super irritated by the four little words: ‘sent from my iPhone.’ Some individuals consider the automated signature quite impolite and take it as unprofessional as you could not take the time to send it from your iPhone.
12. Design the perfect email signature
Any email conversation without a properly designed signature can be quite difficult to follow up, resulting in misunderstanding and visual confusion. A typical email signature must include your name, a job title, a company website, a LinkedIn URL, and a phone number.
It is highly recommended to stick with your corporate colors when setting for a signature. It will help to strengthen your brand identity quickly, and you can design it once and use it for all professional emails.
Wrapping it up
We believe that you may have found this blog post to be super effective. We believe that by using the most important and top most important rules, every business email will look professional and will be able to make communication at the workplace much more effective!