As with everything else, the moment you are in contact with people, etiquette rules apply. 🙂
Email manners are more important than we realize. Why? Reading text with no sound, no physical expression or tone of voice, in the context of a 2D presentation have tendencies to miscommunicate and misrepresent your real message.
I’ve had countless of times where readers’ emails come off as rude and demanding. But later on they’ll often write me a heartwarming email after I’ve replied.
Thus, we need to apply extra politeness, respect and courtesies in email.
Basic Business Workplace Email Etiquette
The base of Proper Email Etiquette is that Basic courtesy and respect should always be employed. Proper email etiquette, as with letter writing etiquette, it should start off addressing the recipient.
To: John Parker or Dear John Parker,
If you do not know “who” you are emailing to…
To: Customer Service
To Whom It May Concern (when emailing to a generic email such as firstname.lastname@example.org)
In a business or workplace setting, you should always send business related emails with a clearly typed subject title into SUBJECT: space in an email.
This quickly helps your recipient identify your email and can respond to it quickly.
It is rude to leave it blank and let the other person figure it out what is it that you require or need or want.
Of course, this is not necessary to do this for personal email but it is nice to. Don’t know what to write? Simply write, “Hi Leia!”
Do not forget your email manners as you sign off. You should also end your email politely with, Yours Sincerely, <Insert Your Name>.
There are many ways to sign off, depending on the formality of the email.
The proper business email etiquette is to at least include a business phone number and company name below your ‘sign off message’..
This is known as the “Email Signature” where you can customize in most email programs. Free popular web email programs like Gmail and Yahoo Mail have this function too.
This is to provide the recipient quick identification and more ways to contact you. i.e. phone, fax etc. Or keep your email as a contact reference for future business dealings.
More Business Email Etiquette
Email is basically instant communication, and there are some who abuse this privilege.
Because it is instant (and free), some of us do not put enough thought, effort and care using email.
Most emails are thus thoughtlessly sent off with a blast.
Do not Waste Other People’s Time
Always be professional and careful and remember that business email should not be used for frivolous correspondence.
Elegant care and attention should be paid when using email as part of good workplace email etiquette.
For business efficiency, we should not subject our recipients to deleting useless emails, jokes they are not interested to hear or pictures that offend them. This is a waste of their time.
Be Clear and Concise In Emails
Also, use proper language and make it a point to be as clear as possible, concise and to the point.
If this is not done, more time is wasted figuring out what the email is trying to say with spelling errors and short forms for actual words.
These are not good email manners especially in a business setting.
Professional Email Expectations
Also, email may not be 100% confidential or private so one should observe workplace email etiquette by NOT distributing personal information, credit card numbers and phone numbers.
In the fine print of the employee contract in some business workplaces, it states that your company reserves the right to monitor your email,
The minute you are asked to leave the company, all contacts and information contained in those emails rightfully belong to theirs.
Abusive conduct of email includes, mass forwarding of emails not related to work, questionable pictures and material on emails, offensive language used in an email, chain letters, in order words spamming and creating a nuisance with email.
Essential Business Etiquette Readings
The Essentials of Business Etiquette:
How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet Your Way to Success
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International Business Etiquette