5 email etiquette rules to remember


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With mobile app messaging pretty much taking over our personal lives we are constantly flooded with memes, acronyms and emoticons. It’s totally fine sending messages like these to friends and family, but when it comes to the workplace it’s an entirely different story.

Unlike personal emails or instant messaging, when you send and respond to work emails you’re representing your company. As part of our #ConquerYourInbox series we’ve partnered with SaneBox to share 5 email etiquette rules to remember.

1. Keep it clean
Business emails are meant to be simple, clean and to the point. Every once in a while, we come across an email that contains flashing images, text written in more colors than you can find on a rainbow, and the overuse of capital letters.

Stick to black font unless there’s something urgent that requires attention. If that’s the case, a simple hack to get your recipient’s attention is to bold key phrases. Excessive use of CAPS is not recommended. Nobody likes being yelled at, even over email.

2. Pay attention to the subject line
Leaving subject lines blank in emails is extremely unprofessional, and provides the recipient no point of reference to what’s inside. Writing a subject line makes it easier for the recipient to search for your emails later, and allows them to quickly glance at their inbox and judge from the subject if it needs their attention right away or not. (For more tips on how to create stellar subject lines check out this post.)

3. Don’t start a war
From time to time unfortunately you can find yourself on the receiving end of an aggressive email. Don’t fight fire with fire. Instead, try to remedy the solution or if you cannot, just don’t reply. Every email you send or receive is logged, replying in a negative way or adding fuel to the fire can be a one-way ticket out of a job. When in doubt, take 10 minutes before sending the email. After you have time to cool off, read it again and see if there’s a better way to approach the situation.

4. Start and end it right
If you’re rushing you may forget to start your emails off with a “Good morning” or a simple “Hey.” Common courtesy goes a long way in creating good relationships and positive impressions. Start every email you send with a polite greeting and end it with a simple salutation, such as “Thank you.”

5. Use proper grammar
If your emails don’t contain proper spelling, grammar and punctuation it will be hard for the recipient to take you seriously. Re-read all your emails before you click the send button. If you catch a mistake but you’ve already sent it, use Gmail’s undo send feature or send a brief follow-up to note the error (if it’s glaring enough).

You may never meet many of the people you email and, as a result, your emails become their only reference point in deciding if they want to work with you. Well-written emails are essential for anyone who takes their career path seriously.

Learn more over at sanebox.com


Post by Octavia Goredema @OctaviaGoredema

Photography Credit: #WOCinTech Chat


Looking for more ways you can #ConquerYourInbox? Check out these posts
How stellar subject lines can make your emails stand out
Is your smartphone addiction killing your career?
How to avoid an email nightmare while you’re on vacation
Conquer your inbox with 3 essential email commandments

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