15 Tips for Business Email Etiquette
I work in an office as many of you do. I get 100s of emails a day. Too many times I’ve received emails that left me thinking, “Does this person have any sense of professionalism; why am I doing business with them?”
Here are some tips on business email etiquette that I’ve picked up over the years:
- Use your business email; not Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail (or the dinosaurs that still use AOL); especially don’t use emails like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’; either give up the college emails or only use business emails
- If there a lot of people on an email, don’t automatically ‘replay to all’; only reply to the necessary people; this is especially true when replying ‘congrats’ or ‘thanks’
- You don’t always have to have the last word; “thank you”; “your welcome”; “I really appreciate it”…no need to keep it going, cut the chord
- Don’t automatically CC’ someone’s boss if you want something to get done; give the person a chance to do it; if they don’t, then bring in the big guns
- Don’t use colorful stationary for business emails, only Elle Woods from Legally Blonde could pull that off
- Pay attention to the little red swiggly lines that indicate a word is spelled wrong; nuthin seys you don’t no what you are talking about like a mispeled wurd or improper use of grammer
- Read an email in its entirety before sending; once you hit send…it’s too late
- Don’t ‘recall’ messages; it only draws more attention to it; simply send another email with the corrections and apologize
- Don’t send every email with the red exclamation point! If everything is important, then nothing is!
- Don’t go overboard with signatures…no one really reads them anyway. I’ve seen some with 5 to 10 hyperlinks; how much time do you think people spend at the bottom of the email?
- If I send you an email that warrants a response; kindly do so, even if you don’t have the answer right now
- If I send you an email with multiple questions; don’t only respond to one question; I’m not asking just because I like to type
- Dnt eml lk U txt or Twt – save it for those platforms
- DON’T EMAIL IN ALL CAPS. IF I WANTED TO BE SHOUTED AT, I’D STAND NEXT TO SOMEONE WITH A MEGAPHONE
- Don’t be long winded. I have a rule thumb; if an email is longer than my hand…I’m not reading it. Keep it simple and get to the point; we all have 100s of emails to get through and don’t want to spend 20 minutes on your dissertation
There you have it. I hope you are not guilty of any of these; if you are; clean up your act.
John Boyer is Director of Marketing for Coldwell Banker Commercial