Almost everyone who has worked an office job long enough knows the overwhelming feeling of powering up the computer on Monday morning to find a daunting list of emails waiting to be opened. You glance it over and prioritize what gets opened, what merits a response, and which ones end up in the recycle bin. According to an article published on Business Insider, the average employee spends approximately 25% of their time at work filtering through email.
Ignoring basic business email etiquette will likely land your communication attempt in the recycle bin. Here are some important tips on how to implement some basic business email etiquette:
- Obtain a professional domain name for your business email. Often, emails originating from the basic free sites like Yahoo or Gmail get lost in spam filters, security is minimal, and they lack integrity with many professionals.
- Use a Specific Subject Line. Use the name of a project, reference number, category or something which alerts the reader that the content is relevant to them.
- Be Professional with Writing Your Style. Oftentimes casual communication or humor can get misinterpreted in cyberspace without the context of tone or facial expression. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but one should always be professional when sending outer-office email. Use expressive punctuation sparingly, be respectful, and keep content clear and to-the-point. Use a professional signature line.
- Ugly Typos Cost Credibility. Simply reading over what you’ve written before hitting “send” can be a very effective way to maintain your professional image. This includes proofing your recipients to make sure your email goes to the right person or group of people.
- Add Recipient Last. Especially on mobile devices, adding the recipient last will keep you from accidentally sending out a partially-composed email before it’s ready.
- If it’s Urgent, Place a Call, Text, or Talk in Person. Remember that daunting morning email list? Don’t assume your email will be at the top of their list. Inner-office reprimands or corrections should also be done face-to-face and only emailed as follow-up documentation.
Following basic business email etiquette will eliminate most problems with your emails not reaching the eyes of the recipient.