Email was invented back in the 1970s and has turned into one of the greatest inventions yet. It broke the norm of conventional communication and revolutionized the business world. People are now able to communicate and reach a wide audience with just one click of a ‘send’ button. That explains why email communications take up a significant portion of our working hours.
That being said, like every form of communication - you have to remember the social rules. It’s important to ensure all the points are communicated in a professional manner and the message is delivered successfully. Whether you are a senior professional or a fresh grad entering the corporate world, here are some do’s and don’ts to write an effective email. These tips will not only help to perfect email etiquette but generate higher open rates and better responses as well.
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- Do Have a Concise Subject Line
Subject Line Definition: The briefest version of the content of your email.
Consider summarizing the email into a short phrase which is straightforward and could give the recipient an overview of the email content. Reason being, most of us are flooded with countless emails daily. Hence, a clear and concise title could get your email noticed, read and replied in a timely manner. For example, if you are seeking approval from your manager, simply write “<FOR YOUR APPROVAL> xxx” as the subject line.
- Do Proofread Your Email
This is one of the best (but often overlooked) ways to improve email communication. Read your email and check the content at least twice before hitting ‘send’. That would help to eliminate errors and redundant sentences, as well as avoid any missing information. Not only that, you’ll be surprised that most people are judged by the way their email is composed. If you were to send an email with multiple grammatical or spelling errors, you could be perceived as sloppy or thoughtless. For instance, an email serves as the first impression when you are sending your resume for a job application - and hiring managers tend to weed out emails that are not concise or one that is littered with mistakes.
- Do Keep It Professional
Always remember to set a professional tone when drafting an email. Start with a standard and formal salutation, and maintain the level of professionalism throughout the email. Avoid humor as it can sometimes be misunderstood - what you perceive as funny could be interpreted as sarcasm on the other end, especially due to the lack of vocal tone and facial expressions. The same goes to exclamation marks and abbreviations - keep it minimal and focus on being professional.
- Don’t Forget the Email Signature
Every email should include an email signature to indicate who the sender is and other key information. It’s also a great way to promote the services offered and highlight the company name. An email signature should be professional and include all relevant information such as full name, designation, phone number and website link. It’s important to sign off all emails with an appropriate signature.
Pro Tip: Explore the email settings and set the signature to appear automatically at the end of every email.
- Don’t Send Angry Emails
Composing an email with emotions, especially negative ones is the biggest no-no when it comes to the best practices for email etiquette. Never let your emotions or personal issues affect your email writing, and never hastily send an email. If you are angry or upset when you are about to click ‘send’, always remember to take a step back and save the message to the ‘draft’ folder first; and review the email properly once you are calm and collected. By allowing some time to compose yourself, it’s more likely the email will receive an appropriate response.
- Don’t Reply All
Have you ever been kept on copy in an email trail that is irrelevant to you? Or has any recipient ‘Reply All’ to the rest of the people CC’d in an email? Without a doubt, this is wasting a lot of people’s precious time and unnecessarily piling up their inbox folder. Avoid this unless the ‘Reply All’ is appropriate - when your email or response is needed to be seen by all. Even then, always ensure your emails are being sent to the right recipient.
That wraps up the quick tips on the do’s and don’t of effective email communication. Most of us would have experienced at least one of the points from the ‘Don’t List’ above - and unfortunately once you send an email, there is no turning back. Hence, it’s necessary to remember the social rules that accompany any form of communication. Just like the saying ‘practice makes perfect’ - be more mindful of this list and you will be writing great emails in no time.
On another note, if you would like to deliver a message in a more personalized way - consider leaving a sticky note on your colleagues’ desk every now and then. For high quality and affordable range of stationeries and office supplies, check out our online store at https://store.lionfile.com/.