Despite the fact that we are glued to our reply buttons, career coach Barbara Pachter says plenty of professionals still don’t know how to use email appropriately so I am Sharing with you this “email etiquette” you must master to avoid pro embarrassment.
Because of the sheer volume of messages we’re reading and writing, we may be more prone to making embarrassing errors, and those mistakes can have serious consequences.
When it comes to emailing, these rules of etiquette are more or fewer guidelines that help avoid mistakes and misunderstandings when sending emails (especially business emails). Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares 4 email etiquette rules most people ignore.
- Always Proof Read
Taking another look before sending a message the rule basically goes along the line of ‘send once, look twice’. This is to avoid accidentally sending embarrassing emails that you won’t be able to take back, once it’s been sent out. Avoid sending emails the minute you are done drafting them; allow some minutes of rest for every of your email messages after you’re done drafting them, then look over them once more just before you click send. Additionally, if your email software has an unsent feature (for example, Gmail has an unsent feature), you can enable the unsent feature to give you a couple of minutes to undo your sending of a message, in the event of an error or omission.
- Cleaning Up Emails Before Forwarding Them
Nobody likes to read cumbersome emails, we all like it neat, brief and straight to the point. To ensure that your emails are clean before forwarding them, make sure you remove all addresses from the email before forwarding it (except the addresses are essential to the email you are forwarding); clean up the unnecessary characters and messed up lines from the email body (email cleanup utilities can help with this); and clean up the subject of the email to suit what you desire or you can leave it as is, if that is what is preferred.
- Acknowledged Every Mail Received
Letting people know their emails have been received email software is not Whatsapp, where you can easily know when a message that you have sent has been read by the recipient. It is, therefore, courteous for the recipient of a message to send a reply back to the sender indicating that the message has been received. This email can be referred to as an ‘acknowledgment email’. Even if you don’t intend to reply the email yet, it is best to send an acknowledgment email in the interim, pending when you will reply the email. In addition, to avoid forgetting about replying the email once an acknowledgment email has been sent, you can mark the email as unread and star it so it will act as a kind of reminder for you to attend to the email.
- Use KISS (keep it simple and short)When drafting and sending emails, some people forget that it’s an email and proceed to draft and send epistles. This should not be so. Long emails can be intimidating, and a long sequence of paragraphs with long run-on sentences can be cumbersome and discouraging for many to read. Keep your emails as short as possible, and this can be done by being brief and straight to the point with your messages. If you think something longer will be appropriate, it is best to call the person and have a phone discussion instead. You can later highlight the key points of your discussion in an email and send to the person for confirmation.
Personal emails can be more superfluous but business emails should typically be succinct. You can keep your emails short by breaking your message into bullet points and ensuring each point captures the essence or summary of any action you want to be taken. Also, be sure to avoid treating many subjects within one email, treat one subject per email and avoid lumping it all together.
- Use Signature Block
Provide your reader with some information about you, Pachter suggests. “Generally, this would state your full name, title, the company name, and your contact information, including a phone number. You also can add a little publicity for yourself, but don’t go overboard with any sayings or artwork.”
- Use Professional Salutation
Use the same font, type size, and color as the rest of the email, she says. Don’t use laid-back, colloquial expressions like, “Hey you guys,” “Yo,” or “Hi folks.” “The relaxed nature of our writings should not affect the salutation in an email,” she says. “Hey is a very informal salutation and generally it should not be used in the workplace. And Yo is not okay either. Use Hi or Hello instead.” She also advises against shortening anyone’s name. Say “Hi Michael,” unless you’re certain he prefers to be called “Mike.” Read Also: hotel efficiency work practice
Pachter outlines the basics of modern email etiquette in her book “The Essentials Of Business Etiquette.” We pulled out the most essential etiquette you need to know.