Email Etiquette 101: Sending Emails

Editor’s Note: This blog is part of our Email Etiquette 101 series.

Basic email etiquette is important for both professional and personal electronic correspondence. In today’s Thursday Customer Service, we share top tips for email etiquette that will make you a joy to communicate while being perceived as a courteous and intelligent human being.

Sending Emails

  • Make sure your e-mail includes a courteous greeting and closing. It helps to make your email not seem demanding or terse.
  • Address your contact with the appropriate level of formality and make sure you spelled their name correctly.
  • Be sure to spell check. People don’t take emails with typos seriously.
  • Read your email out loud to ensure the tone is the one you desire. Try to avoid relying on formatting for emphasis but rather choose the words that reflect your meaning instead. A few additions of the words “please” and “thank you” go a long way!
  • Include all relevant details or information necessary to understand your request or point of view. Generalities can many times cause confusion and unnecessary back and forths.
  • Are you using proper sentence structure? The first word capitalized with appropriate punctuation? Multiple instances of !!! or ??? can be perceived as rude or condescending.
  • If your email is emotionally charged, walk away from the computer and wait to reply. Review the sender’s email again to be sure you are not reading anything into the email that simply isn’t there.
  • When sending attachments, did you ask first when would be the best time to send? Did you the check file size to make sure you don’t fill the other side’s inbox, causing all subsequent emails to bounce?
  • Refrain from using the Reply to All feature to give your opinion to those who may not be interested. In most cases replying to the Sender alone is your best course of action.
  • Make one last check and verify that the address (or addresses) in the “To” field is the correct one.
  • Be sure your name is reflected properly in the “From” field.
  • Avoid cryptic phrases. Type in complete sentences instead.
  • Never assume the intent of an email. If you are not sure, ask in order to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
  • Just because someone doesn’t ask for a response, it doesn’t mean you ignore them. Respond in a timely manner.
  • Be sure the Subject field accurately reflects the content of your email.
  • Don’t hesitate to say thank you, how are you, or appreciate your help!
  • Keep emails brief and to the point. Save long conversations for the old-fashioned telephone.
  • Always end your emails with “Thank you,” “Sincerely,” “Take it easy,” “Best regards” – something!

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