The Ultimate Business Email Etiquette
Do you write proper and professional emails? Email is one of the most effective and highly preferred communication forms used these days. Whether for business or personal purposes, an email can relay just about any message or send practically any file or attachment. In fact, email is even used as a marketing or advertising tool. Email marketing can help you boost sales, encourage customer loyalty, and acquire repeat orders. When done properly, email marketing can be a great asset in your business.
However, utmost diligence is needed in writing business-like emails so you’ll avoid making mistakes which can lead to miscommunication between you and your recipients. What is email etiquette and how do you apply it?
It’s easy to take email etiquette for granted. The abundance of different instant messaging tools like chat, short message service, video conferencing and others can blur the rules and make us confused of which techniques to apply. Thus, you need to take note of the following email protocol to facilitate effective communication:
1. Start with a clear and direct subject line
In email marketing, writing clear and catchy subject lines is very crucial because it directly affects open rate. When it comes to sending business emails, you also need to make sure that your subject line is meaningful and expressive. Avoid vague or confusing words so the reader will know exactly what your email is about.
2. Use a polite greeting and closing statement.
Your greeting will set the email’s tone so make sure it’s appropriate. Use positive and simple words that your reader will understand. A courteous closing statement shows sincerity. See to it that you wrap up your email with the proper closing remarks.
3. Compose a concise and succinct body.
Like the subject line, your email body must adhere to the rules of brevity which means you have to keep it short but substantial. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and easy to read.
4. Observe proper grammar, structure, and punctuation.
Email messages are not like tweets, social media posts, message forums or short messages. Therefore, you need to construct complete sentences and avoid using vague phrases. After all, you’re not limited to a specific number of characters so there’s no need to cut your words or resort to incomplete sentences. Use the proper lower and upper case forms in your statements. All upper case letters connote an aggressive tone while all lower case letters make the email look sloppy.
5. Use abbreviations, icons, and symbols sparingly.
These may seem fine with casual or personal emails but they must be used cautiously in business emails to keep its professional tone. Also, avoid using jargons or highly technical terms that may confuse the reader.
6. Check your email before sending it.
Don’t forget to check your email first before sending it to avoid giving an unclear message. Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuations. Make sure to provide all the necessary details of your topic in anticipation for potential questions. This way, you will prevent a long or winding email thread.
7. Don’t send or forward chain letters, corrupted files, or potential virus sources.
Your business emails’ content must be kept strictly professional so there should be no room for trash. Be careful in attaching files and make sure they don’t contain any virus that might harm the recipient’s computer. Always be wary of the email types that you forward to avoid potential complaints or even cybercrime in the future.
8. Email templates should also be clear and concise.
You may need to send email templates for frequently asked questions or concerns. Make sure that your templates are written clearly and concisely to avoid miscommunication between you and your recipients. One or two well-written lines will do.
9. Replies must be clearly and concisely written.
Before replying to emails, make sure you have understood the topic or subject and you have the best answer for it. Go straight to your point. This prevents unnecessary email exchanges. Strive to answer most emails sent to you, especially the business types. This communicates professionalism on your part.
10. Be careful in using the To, Cc, and Bcc fields.
Recipients in the “To” field are those whom you expect a response from. Those that you just want to inform about the email’s topic are placed in the “Cc” or “copy” field. Refrain from putting recipients in the “Bcc” or “blind copy” field because it seems like you are relaying messages behind someone’s back.
11. Refrain from asking for a return or delivery receipt.
Return or delivery receipts are not necessary and may even be obtrusive for your reader. Aside from that, some email software don’t support this tool so your efforts will be futile. It’s better to just call or ask the receiver if the email message had indeed been sent or read.
12. Send emails to the right contacts in the proper date and time.
This is highly applicable to email promos and/or business offers. Make sure that you have permission to send to your contacts or else you run the risk of your email being tagged as spam. Worse, you may even receive privacy issue complaints or even threats.
You may think that sending business emails is a no-brainer. If you think about it, there are lots of sources for potential complaints and causes for miscommunication for a poorly constructed email. The next time you compose an email for your business partners, work colleagues, or customers, be mindful of email etiquette and apply them. Keep on following them until it becomes a habit. I guarantee you that your peers and colleagues will thank you for it!
Written by: Niña Angeli Pilapil