Email communication is one of the integral parts in today’s business environments. No matter we are dealing with bosses, partners, colleagues or subordinates, the ways in which our electronic letters are written would definitely affect our image. Below are 4 essential etiquette tips to stay professional in our day-to-day email conversations.
As easy as it may seem, this is the easiest point to be overlooked, especially when our inbox is already flooded. We might just open an email, read it, and then forget it – not that we deliberately want to ignore it, sometimes it’s simply lost among a huge pile of tasks. Of course, it’s not necessary to reply promptly whenever an email arrives, but if it’s a message that requires follow up, replying within 24 to 72 hours would be the best practice. My trick to remind myself about important emails is to mark them as unread, file them under suitable categories, and highlight them with a star or an important label.
2. Be Careful with Grammar, Spelling and Capitalization
Always write in complete sentences and structure the message properly, and take a moment to proofread it before clicking the Send button. It’s true that everyone makes typos, but we would not want to leave an impression that we are drunk. On the other hand, never be tempted to use capital letters consecutively in sentences, for it sounds nothing but shouting with “PLEASE SEND ME THE DRAFT BY 10AM.” If a point has to be emphasized, go for bold, italic or underline instead.
3. Be Polite and Sincere
Politeness and manners should be kept in check at all times, even when we are in authoritative positions. Use proper intros and salutations, such as “Dear”, “Hello” and “Good morning”. When signing off, show courtesy with “Regards” or “Thanks”. And no, “tks” is never sincere in the eyes of recipients; it only makes you a person too arrogant and too lazy to bother with the tedious task of typing a complete word of “Thanks”.
4. Do Not Use Emails as An Emotional Outlet
It’s extremely easy for us to fall into the trap of venting and yelling in emails. Just imagine the scenario in which a colleague has sent an unsatisfactory piece of work by email. Immediately we would be tempted to click the “Reply” button, and write the most emotional speech ever by injecting our anger, disappointment and frustration into the text. But in fact, doing so would not do any good to parties involved; it would only bring misunderstanding and misinterpretation to professional relationships. If we want to express our seriousness, pick up the phone or arrange a face-to-face meeting would definitely be much more suitable.