Daily Writing Tip: Business email etiquette

business email etiquette
Writing a business email can be a bit challenging. We’re so used to sending out communications via social media networks that we sometimes become too comfortable in writing emails even for business. Here are some tips to help you navigate this tricky business tool.

1. Be clear with your subject title – State the core idea of your email in the subject line BRIEFLY. It will get the proper attention it needs. And with dozens of emails delivered to inboxes every day, a clear, direct heading determines whether your recipient will open it immediately or not.

2. Be brief – The beauty and primary purpose of emails is it’s quick and convenient. So, as much as possible, be concise. But if you have several things to state, break them up into bite-sized chunks by using bullets or lists.

3. Use short sentences – Some of your recipients may be accessing their emails via mobile devices or may be in the middle of a meeting, thus, don’t have 100% attention on your email. Your best bet in getting your point across is to KEEP. YOUR. SENTENCES. SHORT.

4. Check grammar and spelling – This is true for all communications you send out. Don’t give people a bad impression by being careless with grammatical and spelling errors.

5. Use business-like formatting – No matter how cute you think pink font is, it is not an acceptable color for a business email. To avoid putting off people, stick to traditional black font. And as most companies have official typeface that they use in all communications, stick to your official font.

6. Reply within 24 hours – Unless you’re a top ranking executive, there is no excuse in replying to emails beyond the acceptable 24-hour turnaround time. If the sender is a client requesting information, which will take time to flesh out, acknowledge receipt of the email and set expectations on when you will get back to them with the answer that they need.

7. Tackle all concerns addressed to you – If you’re one of multiple recipients in a long email, make sure you answer all questions, suggestions, or comments addressed to you.

8. Use “cc” and “Reply to All” sparingly – Scrutinize the content of your email and be prudent in bringing people into the discussion with the carbon copy (cc) function. As for “Reply to All”, not all the recipients of the original email need to be privy to your reply so just make sure that everyone who needs to be in the loop are kept informed.

9. NEVER WRITE IN CAPITALS – For the simple reason that you don’t want people to think you’re yelling. And even if you are and you happen to be the boss, it is considered poor form.

10. Review your email before sending it – This can be applied to all communications you send out. You don’t want to misspell the CEO’s name in an email she was bcc’d.


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