How to write a business email might sound like a regular daily task, but have you really ever thought whether you’re doing this systematic daily task the right way? Believe it or not, the emails that you send out can really tell a lot about your attitude, behavior and even the way you deal with people. Surprisingly, how to write a formal email falls under email etiquette and it’s kind of important for a person to actually follow some basic email etiquette rules. In order to easily compose professional, nice and proper emails, here are the 20 basic email etiquette tips everyone should follow:
1. The Subject
The basic thing about email etiquette is that you should never send out an email without a subject. Not only does the subject title prevent your email from being lost, but it also shows that you have attention to detail and you're organized.
Another important email etiquette is to make sure the email includes a proper title of the person you’re sending it to. If you’re not sure about their exact marital status “Mr./Ms.” will always keep you on the safe side.
3. Always check the name!
Before you send out an email, don't only double check, but triple check the name of the person you’re sending it to. It’s rather annoying to spell someone’s name the wrong way. Basic email etiquette!
An introductory and closing greeting is also mandatory and is a basic email etiquette in any business email you send.
An email with too many typos and grammar mistakes is often not taken seriously and might be perceived as unprofessional and no where near any email etiquette.
6. Please & Thank You
In case you’re requesting something from the person you’re emailing, please and/or kindly and thank you are a must.
7. Be Straightforward
Avoid being general in an email. Be straight forward and point out your request. There’s no need for back and forth emails for clarification.
Another email etiquette revolves around attachments. No one likes an attachment that takes forever to load. In case you’re sending out a big file or many files, make sure to compress them into a zip folder on your laptop first or use WeTransfer and email them the link of the uploaded material instead.
9. Angry Emails
Angry emails can have a very bad effect. If you’re sending out an email complaining about something, make sure to read it a couple of times, leave it in the drafts until you're more calm, or let someone you trust read it after you in order to refrain from sending an emotionally charged email.
10. Punctuation Marks
Too much of “!!!” and “???” are considered rude and unprofessional. That's another email etiquette people tend to forget.
11. No Nicknames
Don’t give the person you’re sending an email to a nickname. Never. Ever!
12. Greeting Transitions
Always start an email with a formal greeting like "Dear ….." You can start with an informal "Hi" or "Hello" only when you have a good relationship with this person or you have previously met them.
13. Reply to All
Be sure to reply to all the emails you get. Even with a simple thank you. Just because someone didn’t ask for a response, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reply.
In case of occasions or holidays, make sure to add "have a happy holiday" or "have a lovely weekend". This simple sentence can be a very thoughtful addition and is a nice email etiquette.
15. Unnecessary Emails
Don’t bombard people’s inboxes with too many emails. The 'reply to all' option shows that you’re unfocused and undecided. Only use 'CC' when it’s important for these people to read it. Email etiquette is to make sure not to expose other people’s emails to too many people who don't need to be involved. You can then, in this case, add them in the 'BCC' field.
After an over-the-phone meeting or business call, make sure to follow it with an email to recap all the details mentioned in the previous phone call to get everything straight and prevent confusion.
Pay extra attention to the sentence structure and formatting. The first letter at the beginning of the sentence should be capital.
18. ALL CAPS
Avoid typing in all caps at all costs. In email etiquette, this only means shouting. If you want to stress on something, you can just keep it in bold.
Make sure to stick to a normal looking font. Colorful backgrounds and funky fonts can be rather distracting and way too childish. They even make an email harder to read. Same goes for font colors.
20. Forwarded Emails
If you may have to send out a forwarded email, make sure to remove some personal information or conversations the recipient only decided to share with you.
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