The Right Way to Email

October 28, 2019
Tags: email

Email etiquette is something that we can very easily overlook.  You are sending emails back and forth all day long, of course you are an expert, right? Here are some suggestions on how to send an effective email, hopefully eliminating excessive back and forth to save time and the number of emails sent.

The Greeting

Unless the tone of your email is to be very formal, skip the long greeting.  No need to say “Dear” or include the recipient’s full name or title.  A quick Hi (First Name), is enough.  Also, if you are communicating on a single thread it is not necessary to say “Hi” every message that is sent.  You can treat this as the ongoing conversation that it is.

The Body

In the body of your email it is important to get your point across, or provide all the information that you have about the specific topic at hand.  Now is not the time to small talk, get fancy or add a bunch of extra unnecessary details.  We want to be respectful of the receiver’s time.  That being said, make sure that your email is not coming across as rude.  Have you received an email response that says “OK”, “understood”, “agreed” Etc.? These responses can come off as rude, or that your time is more important.  Make sure to respond in a full sentence.  If you feel that it is appropriate it can be helpful to send an emoji after a complete sentence, such as, “Thanks for your help.”

“[Emojis] are basically a digital stand-in for facial expression, after all, and all the tools that we do have to make sure that we’re not misunderstood, we should be making use of.”

The sign off

Something simple like “best”, “best wishes” or “All the best” are recommended.  Some sign-offs can come across as too intimate, casual, formal or pompous.  It is also a good idea to keep your signature simple, no need to add a jpg logo or colorful artwork, or even a meaningful quote.  Your name and contact info should suffice.

Final Thoughts

The subject line should be used for a few key words describing what the email will be about.  Full sentences will get cut off and being funny or adding fancy phrasing is also not ideal.

Knowing when to CC someone and how the rule works, will cut back on confusion.   Primary recipients of an email, who are expected to respond, should go in the ‘to’ field,” she explains. “Other recipients of an email, who are not expected to respond — and who are included as a courtesy or for their information — should go into the ‘CC’ field.” Then, move someone to “BCC” when their input is no longer needed.”

Email during business hours

If you can avoid emailing at all hours of the day, it is a good idea to do so.  Today we are all so connected to our phones and receiving pings and notifications all hours of the day.  We should not feel obligated to respond, and feel obligated to be contactable.  Sometimes it is a good idea to feel free from your phone, inbox and messages, unless there is something very urgent, it can wait until business hours.

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