Email etiquette-losing business when you miss manners


 Email etiquette-losing business when you miss manners

Many people are not aware of how they come across in emails they send to their peers and superiors, but learning about the proper email etiquette can save you a couple awkward meetings and some embarrassment.

It's important to remember that the way you communicate with someone via email is how they will perceive your opinion of them. Avoiding any negative remarks while being succinct and clear are two qualities that create effective emails, which will help build professional relationships.

The best way to communicate is face-to-face, but there are a few times when sending emails, including:

When you need immediate assistance from someone.

When you think you are doing a great job.

When you need to make an important point.

To teach a new skill or policy.  Although it's good to follow the professional courtesy of leaving the person with an option to respond, the "reply-all" function can be easily overlooked and cause confusion if someone sees a reply-all option and sends it before they've thought about what they want to say. When that happens, their tone will seem like it's coming from two people as opposed to just one.

Avoiding the use of all caps is very important. It often looks unprofessional and screams, "I'm angry!" Even if you are annoyed or frustrated, you can express yourself in a way that will not be interpreted as being hostile.

If a reply-all reply isn't necessary, you can limit the number of people who get to see your email by making a copy of your email and sending it to the people it's most relevant to.

If an employee is on vacation or out sick for an extended amount of time and they haven't been in touch with any updates, sending them an email asking for their status will let them know you're still checking up on them.

Also, if you are going to keep tabs on an individual, it's best to do so in a way that isn't creepy. Checking their status once a week is too much and checking up on their vacation pictures is just plain weird. If they're someone you work with closely, it's okay to keep tabs on them, but let them know why you're doing so.

Subject line mistakes can really turn people off from wanting to read the body of an email. These tips will help:

Avoid using sarcastic or inappropriate subject lines. It will get people interested in what you have to say and give the impression that you are a fun person to be around and email correspondence with you won't be scary or stressful.

Make sure there isn't any misspelling in the subject line. It's okay to be informal, but spelling should be on point.

Keep it simple. Don't use words that make it hard to understand what the subject matter is. It's okay to be creative, but put the most important words first while still being concise.
The body of an email can make or break a professional relationship or company morale:

Don't use all capital letters in the body of an email because it makes you look desperate and angry. No one wants to work with someone who is angry or insecure.


By adhering to the email etiquette rules, you will be able to build better relationships with your peers and superiors while saving yourself some time and embarrassment.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Robert Kneschke_Maja

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