Email is a wonderful communication tool, but many people do not use it properly.
You can annoy or even anger your customers and colleagues with poor email practices. Make sure you follow proper business email etiquette practices to maintain your professional image and make your email effective.
Make your subject clear. “Hey!” or “From me” are not good subjects. Be specific.
Keep your email to one subject. The more issues you try to address in one email, the less effective it will be. If you ask several questions or include several action items, chances are that many of them will be missed or ignored.
When replying to an email, quote enough of the original email to make it easy to understand your response. However, you do not need to include all of the previous email. Keep it short.
Choose recipients carefully. It seems as though everyone has a horror story about hitting “reply all” when they meant to reply only to the original sender, or sending what was supposed to be a private email to everyone in their address book. Always check and double check the recipients to make sure you are sending only to the person or persons to whom you intend to write.
Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation when writing business emails. Although email is less formal than letters, it is still business communication. You may think it is no problem if your email is not written in proper English, but people judge you by your writing skills, even in email. Always proofread before hitting send.
Capitalize properly. Do not use ALL CAPS or all lowercase. Capitalize the first letter of each sentence and proper nouns.
Be careful in your choice of language. The reader can not see your facial expression or body language so what you thought was a funny comment may come across as nasty.
Avoid abbreviations and acronyms that recipients may not understand. Even many abbreviations that are widely used in texting are not understood by everyone.
Do not put anything in an email that you would not want anyone and everyone to see. Once you send an email, you have no control over where it is forwarded.
Attachments should not be used unless (1) they are necessary and (2) the recipient expects them. Many people will not open unknown attachments because of the dangers of viruses. Also, keep any documents and images to a reasonable size. Some people still have slow connections, and a large file can jam their email box.
Using proper business email etiquette can help you get more done while you maintain positive and professional relationships.