When the use of email became common in the early 90’s the business world changed, email now takes up a significant portion of our workday. People receive so many emails each day and many end up making embarrassing mistakes that could be detrimental in a professional interaction. For example, you can easily miss a spelling error while typing out an email, or you may come off as too casual or unprofessional in tone or content.
While we try to work faster and more efficiently, we must not forget the social rules that accompany any form of communication. Here are a few tips on email etiquette;
* Include a clear, direct subject line
People often decide on whether to open an email based on the subject line. Choose one that lets readers know you are addressing their concerns or business issues.
* Think twice before hitting “reply all”
With many people getting notifications of new messages on their smartphones or distracting pop-up messages on their computer screens. Refrain from hitting “reply all” unless you really think everyone on the list needs to receive the email.
* Use professional salutations
The relaxed nature of our writings should not affect the salutation in an email. Laid back colloquial expressions like ‘hey’ will not be appropriate, use ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ instead.
* Be cautious with humor
Humor can easily get lost in translation without the right tone or facial expressions. In a professional exchange, it’s better to leave humor out of emails unless you know the recipient well.
* Proofread every message
Don’t rely on spell-checkers. Read and re-read your email a few times, preferably aloud, before sending it off.
* Add the email address last
You don’t want to send an email accidentally before you have finished writing and proofing the message. Even when you are replying to a message, it’s a good precaution to delete the recipient’s address and insert it only when you are sure the message is ready to be sent.