Contacting people nowadays is not the same as it used to be, however it is definitely faster! Email is now the way we reach out to other professionals or customers. While it may be fast and easy, we don’t always do it “right” or “professionally”. The ease of emailing can sometimes lead to grammatical errors, shoddily constructed sentences, a lack of digital professionalism, or worst of all, just bad manners. We’ve all sent an email out at one point that should have been revised, edited or trashed and never sent out!
Today we are here to break down a little of the email etiquette basics and help you craft the perfect email, every time.
- Subject Line: Always make your subject line straightforward and to the point. If it includes a call to action (i.e.: please read, please review, please respond etc), make sure this is added to the subject line! i.e: “For Review: XYZ Liability release form” as opposed to “Forms for you” or “liability”.
- Always Say Hello: I think now-a-days many people forget to properly greet others, especially in an email. When sending a professional email – you do not want to start with something like: “Hey there – here are the forms” unless you are emailing a good friend. Make sure to always open an email with something like: “Good Morning Linda” or “Hello Ms. Lane”.
- Keep It Simple: Make your message clear and to the point. Now, while it is understandable that at times we need to discuss this in great detail, try not to do this directly on an e-mail. If the person receiving it has to scroll too much, they will tune out most (or all) of the information. If you have many details to add, consider attaching a document with exact details and advising the receiver of the email that all information can be found in the attachment. If you must absolutely add all of this information directly in the email, I strongly suggest following up with a phone call to discuss all the details, go over main points and answer questions the other person may have.
- Write As If The Head Honchos Are Reading It: Write the email as if your email might get forwarded to the CEO of your company! If you are the CEO – write it as if the White House was reading it. What does this mean? Well, when people know the CEO may read their email – they always double, triple, quadruple check their grammar, punctuation, wording etc! Write as if they are watching (or as if your customer may publish your email and everyone will see it!)
- Signing off: Again, unless you are writing with a friend you don’t want to end the email with something like: “See ya!” or “TTYL” (talk to you later). Always make sure to send emails cordially and respectfully, like: “Best Regards, Best wishes, Thank You, Sincerely, Respectfully & Best”. And always make sure your email has an automatic “signature block” with all of your current and correct contact information.
- Proofread: Always proofread your email before hitting send! From top to bottom! Are you sending it to the correct email address, is the person’s name correct? Did I provide the correct information or attachments necessary? We all sometimes jump the gun and hit “send” and then kick ourselves for it later, when we realize we made a mistake. Take that extra time if necessary and proofread it before it goes out!
Have you ever accidentally sent an email you wish you could take back and edit? We would love to hear your stories! If there is anything else you would add to our list, let us know!