Email has become a business communication standard. No doubt email saves time and money but care has to be taken when communicating via email. As with any aspect of business, there is proper etiquette associated with the use of email. After a bit of online research and reflection on personal experience, I have compiled a list of industry standards when using email.
When sending an email:
- Never use email to communicate sensitive issues such as price, terms, worker responsibilities or customer service issues; pick up the phone and call • Always be cordial; include a proper greeting and closing
- Always include a subject; this helps to clarify what the message is about and assists the recipient in prioritizing the emails received
- Use proper spelling and punctuation; your writing is a reflection of you and could be a first impression • Be clear, concise and to the point. A wordy email wastes time and might not get read
- Do not joke! ; witty remarks or jokes can be inappropriate, offensive or misinterpreted
- Never complain, air a grievance or gossip in an email
- Always double check the “To” field to make sure the message is going to the correct recipient
- When responding to an email: Respond in a reasonable time
- If you are answering several questions embed your answers in the sender’s questions
- Delete older messages or compose a new message to prevent your email from becoming too large and to make your email look clean and professional
- When being awarded a contract never respond via email; call
- Never respond to an offensive message via email; pick up the phone to clarify the issue
Following these simple rules will help you use email more effectively.