Email Etiquettes That Every Professional Should Know

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According to statistic, 281 billion e-mails were sent and received every day worldwide in 2018. Another report records that an average office worker sends around 40 emails daily, but despite this high rate of email usage, a lot of professionals don’t know how to use an email appropriately. In this text, we are going to highlight the best email etiquettes that every professional should know.

Here is your list;

1. Use a Professional Email Address

Make it a habit to always use a professional email for all your official functions. If the mail is work-related, it’s advisable to use your company mail address. Even if it is your private mail, use a mail address that makes it easy for the recipient to know who sent the mail.

Stay away from fancy mail addresses (Favnolic@gmail.com, Shevyremit@gmail.com ) for official purposes; you should rather use official mail addresses like namesurname@gmail.com, name.surname@yahoo.com.

2. Maintain a Professional Voice

Your mail message is not the place to use colloquial statements like; “Hey”, “Whatsup”. Also, don’t shorten your recipient’s name, unless you are certain that they prefer to have their name shortened.  For example; Peter should remain Peter in your mail not “Pete “or “P”.

3. Check Your Email Daily

Be it your work or personal email, it is an email best practice to check your mailbox daily. Forbes writes that you should check your mail at least 5 times daily, but we believe 3 times is just okay.

Imbibing this practise will save you from missing out on important information that will benefit you.

4. Don’t Write Your Mail in All-Caps

Writing your message in all-caps means you are screaming, and we believe your intention is not to scream at your recipient.

5. Write Something on the Body of Your Mail

You will think that this is obvious, but we know very well from our training that many professionals send emails with the body empty. Always write something on the body of your mail, no matter how brief. 

Email Tip 1: Don’t forget to mention that there’s an attachment on the mail if you have one.

6. Don’t Write What You Don’t Want Other People to See

It’s not news that emails are very easy to forward, it’s in your own interest to avoid sending any message that you don’t want other people to see.

Email is not the place to pass sensitive and confidential information. Messages that can hurt or tarnish the image of another person/organization if read wrongly should be avoided.

Email Tip 2: Always remember that every message leaves a trail.
Hillary Clinton Quote on Email Etiquette
Hillary Clinton Quote on Email Etiquette

7. Use Safe Fonts

Avoid catchy and fancy fonts. To be on the safe side, use fonts (size, colour, style) that will be easy for other people to read.

Email Tip 3- as a safe rule use;
  • Font Size -10-12 points
  • Type- Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri
  • Colour- Black for body text, blue for hyperlinks

8.   Sending a Mail to Many People

  1. When you are sending an official email to more than one person, and you want each person to know the other recipients of the mail; Put the email address of the most senior ranked person in the “To:’’ section, add the other email addresses in “Cc:”
  2. If you are sending a mail to people that  you don’t want any of them to see the email; input all the email addresses in the “Bcc:”section.

While you’re here, you can learn more about CC and BCC in emails and how to use them, as well as how to send an email for job application (with samples for entry-level and mid-level professionals).

9. Avoid Emojis

Don’t use Emojis in your mail; it is that simple. Leave the Emojis for your social media chats.

10. Use a Word-Document When Sending a Lengthy Mail

If the email you are sending is a bit lengthy, we suggest you write it in a word document and attach. 

11. Proofread Every Message

Don’t leave this to the spell checkers. Try your best to always proof everything you have written before hitting the send button. It’s better to stay safe than to apologize.

Spell checkers have their short comings, so, ensure you give your mail a fresh eye even if you used a spell checker. 

12. When to Use Reply All

Do not use the “reply all” function on your mail for a mail that was sent to you and other staff of your organization. No one wants to read your personal reply, only reply to the particular person that set you the mail.

Email Tip 4: You can use the reply all if you are sure that the other recipients need to see your reply.

13. Reply all Emails

Reply all emails sent to you including the ones sent to you by mistake. It is true that you are busy and have other things to attend to, but it’s good etiquette to reply such message.

Your reply to a stray message will help the sender know that s/he sent the message to a wrong mail. With your reply, they can act accordingly and re-mail to the right person.

Example of a good reply for a stray email sent to you;

Hi Mr. Adebayor,

I received your email, but I think it was not meant for me.

Kindly check again and mail the correct person.

Regards,

Moses Odi.

14. Double Check Your Mail Message

  1. Recipients-check that you selected the correct recipient(s).
  2. Attachments-confirm that you’ve attached the correct documents.

15. Include an Email Signature

An email signature is a good way to provide more information about yourself and/or your company. An email signature can include things like your name, contact details, social links etc. If you want to learn more about email signature and how to create one, you can learn that with this article.

16. Attaching a Document to a Mail

If you are sending an email with an attachment here are the steps you should follow;

  1. Attach the file
  2. Time the email address
  3. Write the subject
  4. Write something on the body of the mail. Cross check what you wrote and send.

There you have it, 20+ email etiquettes that every professional should know.

Was this article helpful? Do you have any questions about emails or the points raised? Let us know in the comment section! 

Contributions By: Kingsley Ogbiti
Kingsley is a writer and etiquette consultant, he is also the author of the book “Enjoy Your Job“.

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