Email Etiquette Rules for Business

There's nothing worse than receiving long, unclear and inefficient emails! Here are a few simple tips to make sure you can communicate your message effectively and quickly to your desired receiver.

  1. Have a clear, direct subject line

eg Opening Day Times.  Readers often decide if they will read your email based on the subject line, worth remembering next time you start typing the usual, “weekend stats”.

  1. Start and end well.

Begin with “Dear Mary and Matthew”, never just “Mary & Matthew” and be mindful of sounding overly familiar with expressions like, “Hi folks” and “Hey guys”.  If you are not sure if they are a Matt or a Matthew, stick with Matthew until told otherwise. Sign-off should be kind regards or best regards, not “cheers” and never “best”, which studies have shown is actually, the worst rated signoff.

  1. There’s never any need to SHOUT.

There are very few occasions where shouting is appreciated, maybe the occasional, SOLD!  Or even, “FREE DRINKS!” But besides that, use of all caps should be avoided along with using  colours and bold.

  1. Before you press “send”…

Go back and include a pleasantry on the first line such as, “ I trust this finds you well” or “I hope you enjoyed the weekend”.   If you are replying to a message, this should be, “lovely to hear from you” or “thanks for getting in touch”.

  1. Include a signature block

And make sure it is exactly the same as everyone in the office and includes all your contact details so they know where to send the thank you flowers.  This should include your name, title, company name, phone, email, and “Agent of the Year 2017” but don’t go overboard.

  1. Use exclamation points sparingly.

Grammarians know there should only be one ! per 3 sentences and only ever one at a time.  Overuse can create the impression the sender is immature or emotional. YA KNOW?!!!

  1. Assume everyone will read your message.

So keep humour, tone and grammar in check.  Don’t pass on gossip, jokes or stern words in an email because if it gets lost in translation, that’s on you, the writer. If in doubt, ask a friend to check it an imagine reading it in the paper.