Email Etiquette Rules to Live and Work By
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email has surpassed the telephone as the most commonly used form
of business communication. In fact, the McKinsey Global Institute has
that the average office worker spends 28% of their time composing,
and organising emails- that equates to 73 full working days a year!
we spend such a considerable amount of time glued to our email
inboxes and as email traffic continues to rise, we should really know
how to be
using it effectively. Busy professionals receive endless amounts of
day, are you guilty of adding to their email clutter? Are you getting
point across quickly and clearly? If you want your emails to be
credibility and gain some respect professionally, be sure to adhere to
are EasyOffices’ top ten rules of business email etiquette to
position yourself with more professionalism the next time you “send and
are, your email is one of many in a long queue waiting to be
read. Try to keep things brief and to the point. If your email is
five paragraphs, it’s time to start editing. Remove anything which is
unnecessary and use bullet points or numbers for easy reference and
comprehension for the reader.
you ever been included in an email chain that has gone back and
forth for hours, even days? You’ve probably spent a large amount of
composing and reviewing emails which a five minute phone call would
solved. If you sense a topic is going to create a great deal of
pick up the phone and speak to those involved directly. If your thread
veered off topic somewhere along the line, make sure you keep your
Your Subject Stand Out
the topic of subject lines, make yours the first one the reader opens
with an attention grabbing, yet descriptive subject line. This is what
breaks whether an email is opened or left in the inbox forever. Take
review your subject, as anything with typos may be classified as spam
to the junk folder.
“replying to all”
can be pretty frustrating and boring for people to trail through
deleting emails that weren’t even relevant to them in the first place.
of immediately hitting “reply all”, consider whether the information
go out to the entire list. Organising a company dinner? Does everyone
entire list need to know what you plan on eating for dinner? Probably
is a reply to sender only scenario.
in a Timely Manner
was built for speed. If we wanted a response which took longer
than 24 hours, a letter would do. Where time allows, aim to respond to
within one working day. If you are “snowed under”, let the sender know
their email has been acknowledged and an expected time of when they
expect a response. This will help build up trust with your colleagues
clients, and ensure them that they are still high on your priority list.
Let Emotions Take Control
are times where you may receive a rather unpleasant email which
may get your blood boiling. Remember that your professionalism is
stake, so if you are tempted to send an emotional filled response, go
out for a
walk or try to clear your head. Drafting the response you really want
may also help you cool off, but no matter how tempted you may be,
never to press send.
Proper Use of “To” and “CC”
those the correspondence is directly relevant for and will require
action, “to”, is the correct indicator to choose. If you have
require a copy for reference or needs to be kept into the trail of
“CC” is the appropriate option for them. The general rule of thumb is
recipients in the “To” field are expected to reply or follow up to the
while those in the CC field do not.
“FYI” for Emails With No Action Required
emails need to be shared to keep everyone in the loop and to ensure
that action points are taken up on. In order to help prioritise
any non-actionable correspondence with FYI, so the red flagged
can be viewed quickly at a glance.
email providers will have limits
on the size of files you can send over email. Consider compressing your
or for even greater convenience, using a tool
like Dropbox which
allows files and document of any size to be shared with
multiple people, and can even be used on the go. Also make reference to
attachments in the body of the email so that your reader doesn’t forget
download or read your documents.
is much higher up the chain of formality in comparison to text
Just like you wouldn’t use text language or speak in a business email,
off your email properly is essential. Even when you know the person
well, it is
always important to close with a friendly reference, showing that you
that an e-mail is a reflection of your professional profile and
every message you send adds to, or detracts from your reputation. If
is cluttered and filled with spelling mistakes, it is likely you will
thought of as careless. Position yourself as organised through accurate
well thought out emails.
About the Author
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