10 Email Etiquette Tips

It is important that whether for business or personal use that you follow the basics of email etiquette.  Follow these simple email etiquette rules to create effective emails:

Start Your Message with a Greeting
Much like a face-to-face conversation, email messages should start with a proper greeting.

Send to Appropriate Recipients
Email messages are often shared between more than two recipients, so it’s important to identify which recipients go on the “To” line, and which recipients go on the “cc” or “bcc” lines.  Include recipients who need to be kept in the loop, but who are not required to reply to an email, on the “cc” line.  If you’re expecting a response, use the “To” line. Exercise caution when using the “bcc” line.  Use “bcc” when you need to protect the recipients email address and to prevent recipients from hitting the “reply all” button.

Use a Descriptive and Meaningful Subject Line
Craft a subject line that gives the recipient insight into the content of the email.  When checking email, recipients often determine the importance by reading the snapshot that the subject line offers.

Write a Clear and Concise Message
Stick to one topic when crafting an email message and avoid going off on tangents about other unrelated topics. Proof read email messages for grammatical errors and clarity before hitting the send button.

Scan Attachments
Computer viruses are often transported through simple email exchanges, causing havoc on the recipients’ computers.  Protect email recipients by scanning documents, photographs and other attachments with an anti-virus software program before you send email messages.

Avoid Using Emoticons
Emoticons, often used in casual instant messenger and email conversations, go against the rules for business email etiquette.  Emoticons are especially unprofessional when communicating with a manager or company executive.

Avoid Sending Forwards and Inappropriate Jokes
Resist the urge to send forwards and inappropriate jokes to clients and colleagues. What’s funny to you may be offensive to other recipients.

Use Email Signature
Include a closing at the end of each email.  Under the closing, include your name. Email signatures often include the business logo, a link to the company website and contact information such as a phone number, email address or links to the company’s social media profiles.

Respond to Emails in a Timely Fashion
As a general rule, scan emails to see if the recipient is asking a time sensitive question or if the recipient has asked you to reply by a certain time or date. Reply accordingly to avoid missing deadlines, as it could have a negative impact on productivity. Respond to emails with no deadline attached within at least 24 to 48 hours.

Know When to Email and When to Call
It’s not always easy to handle company projects and issues via email. Sometimes, it’s necessary to pick up the phone or meet in person.