I’ve learned so much about email etiquette from sending my own mistakes as well as from being on the receiving end. A couple years ago, I was contacted for an interview via email that I declined due to all the grammatical errors; as I didn’t want to work for a company that was too lazy to spell check.
Email etiquette is easy to learn, essential for success and can save a lot of embarrassment so here we go:
PROOFREAD: I used to send email marketing to thousands of my clients’ customers so proofreading was essential. I was recommended to read the email three times, and the last time to read from the bottom up. When you read from the bottom up, it slows you down and you are more likely to catch errors.
Contact Info In Your Signature: Including your phone number, role, and address in your email signature makes it easier for everyone.
Be Careful with CC,BCC and Reply All: Before carbon copying (CC) and blind carbon copying (BCC) please ensure the selected individuals even need to be involved. Most people have a lot of emails to get through and it only slows productivity down when someone is unnecessarily copied. Also, I’m not sure why people still Reply All but it is rarely necessary. Prevent the annoyance from those who Reply All and BCC if it is a large group.
Confirming Receipt: Even if I do not have the answer at the moment, I like to confirm receipt to let the sender know their message and/or deliverable was received. I send something as simple as “got it” or “confirming receipt.”
Manners: I used to be blunt and jump into emails with whatever request, but I learned responses are much better when I start with a “good morning” or “good afternoon.”
Concise Subject Line – include deadline if possible: Unfortunately, I’ve noticed my managers are really selective with what emails they deem worthy of opening. With that said, they have missed emails that were time sensitive because they waited too long to open. I learned to include deadlines and urgency in the subject line to get faster responses.
Auto Response: One time I went on vacation and forgot to write my auto response and came back to some pretty rude messages as my coworkers thought I was ignoring them. This can easily be prevented by writing your out of office automatic reply.
Professionalism – content and email name: This is so obvious, but when I briefly worked in hiring I was shocked by how many email addresses I couldn’t correlate with the candidates actual name. Also, please be careful in what you write to your co-workers. Do yourself a favor and save the drama, gossip, and love life conversations for in person.
Do you have any email pet-peeves? Comment below to let me know.