As a business professional there are etiquette rules that should be followed to avoid looking like an amateur in the professional world. One set of etiquette rules are email guidelines. It’s important to have excellent email communication skills to appear proficient to clients (also because you never know who might intercept your email). Emails that are to the point and easy to read are more efficient and are also less likely to put your company at risk. Below you will see nine simple rules for email etiquette that every professional should follow:
1. Don’t send an email written in all capital letters. Capital letters in an email signify yelling, and no client appreciates being yelled at. If there is an important concept that you need to get across bold it in your email.
2. Emails going to many people should be sent using BCC or mail merge. If the “To” field contains many recipients your reader will have to scroll past this list just to view your email (you also don’t know if all your recipients want their email addresses shared). This can become extra irritating if your recipient is reading the email from a smart phone. To avoid this BCC some of your recepients or use a program such as Outlook create a mail merge. A mail merge will send an email to everyone on your list under one given name.
3. Don’t use email to discuss confidential information. Just as a general rule of thumb keep all confidential information off the internet.
4. Be careful with abbreviations and emoticons. Unless you’re sending an email to someone you have a good personal relationship with don’t do it. Your recipient may not know what idk means (I don’t know) or may find your smiley unprofessional.
5. When sending a long email try using bullet points and/or short paragraphs. Anything to rich with words might be put off to read later, or important information may be skipped as the recipient skims through the email.
6. Don’t use email in place of high stake conversations. Emails aren’t meant to take the place of crucial meetings with staff or clients. Don’t hide behind your keyboard.
7. When sending emails internally, if your message is short try to keep it in the subject line. For example if you want to remind a coworker about a meeting tomorrow you can simply put “Don’t forget meeting tomorrow at noon” in the subject line.
8. Use IM or text messages if the message is on a personal level. This minimizes traffic and use of disk space on your company’s network. Plus, it’s more fun!
9. Don’t let email distract and interrupt focused work. Minimize the screen or log out for 60 minutes or so. The world will live while you are working on tasks and/or projects that require committed attention and creative energy.
These are your nine tips for professional email etiquette. Follow them and be on your way to professional rock stardom! For more tips and tricks check out IT Business Edge.
President of CRS Technology, an IT consulting firm in SWFL