“The number of worldwide email users will reach 3.7 billion in 2017 and will be over 4.1 billion by the end of 2021”. – Email Statistics Report 2017-2021, The Radicati Group.
This translates to approximately half of the world’s population using email in 2017.
The email, as a formal business communication mechanism, is finding an increased usage regardless of the rise of many other modes of interpersonal communication – social networking, chats, instant messaging, etc.
Despite this growing use of emails, plenty of professionals still don’t know how to use email appropriately and correctly, aptly remarks Barbara Pachter, the etiquette and business communications expert.
She says that many make quite embarrassing errors and mistakes while writing and reading a volume of messages, that can have serious consequences.
“Freedom without rules doesn’t work. And communities do not work unless they are regulated by etiquette”. – Judith Martin.
But etiquettes are not the governing laws, they are the principles that help us present ourselves in a socially acceptable, pleasant and correct manner. The same thing applies for the business email etiquette rules also.
Receiving emails with spelling errors, dodgy attachments, grammar mistakes gives the impression that sender was not attentive to detail, have poor language skills, or that is simply lazy.
Are you wondering- how do I start writing better mails? Don’t. Just follow business email practices that we have discussed in the later half of this post.
What is corporate email etiquette?
All the words that we write – from reports and proposals to the letters and emails, convey not only information, but also reflect competency level and character.
Emails being the most important part of both personal and professional communication, need to be handled with more care. So, while writing emails especially for business communication, professionals should follow some business email etiquettes – the rules that one is expected to follow when writing or answering email messages to avoid serious breaches of manners, miscommunication and confusion, that can seriously harm a professional’s career.
Why business email etiquette is important?
According to a survey commissioned by Adobe Systems Inc the average worker spends 6.3 hours a day checking email. This figure seems small but is actually a big chunk of the day.
Being an unavoidable necessity, email is a major convenience but can prove to be a ceaseless distraction, if it turns sloppy. With the ease of sending and speediness of mails, many of us are accustomed to make basic business email mistakes resulting into a wrong impression & negative consequence for both employees and organization.
However, when used correctly, it not only saves time, but quickens your connection making- the basic aim of business email.
Good corporate email etiquettes that can make a professional’s career:
- Use of proper email language portrays your and your brand’s professional image.
- Emails that get to the point are much more effective than carelessly worded emails.
- Good email habits give protection from dismissal and litigation – when your employees are aware of sloppy emails and their risks, will help protect your company from costly lawsuits.
That’s why we have listed top business email practices in 2018 to help you write better work emails and help your recipients respond efficiently to your messages.
What are the five rules of email etiquette in the workplace?
1. Make a clear subject line that increases your email open rates.
Everyday hundreds of emails clog an inbox and this makes it difficult for a person to check each e-mail. So, it doesn’t matter how much time you invest in perfecting your email copy, placing right call to action, if that email remains unopened.
People often decide whether to open an email or not depending upon the subject line.
“33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone.”
“69% of email recipients report email as Spam based solely on the subject line”.
Choose that subject line which helps readers know that you are either addressing their concerns or business issues or sending any proposal or scheduling a meeting or making a suggestion.
2. Always use a professional email address.
Professionals should communicate professionally. You should always use a business email address that conveys your business name. This will not only add credibility to your e-mail but also enhance your brand value.
Also, your professional email hosting provider enables you to recover your deleted trash mails, installed backups as per the SLA- thus helping you to manage workloads.
For anywhere anytime access and resiliency, use cloud business email.
3. Be careful while hitting “Reply All” and “To” button.
Be careful while dispatching a message to a broad group of recipients. Do not hit “reply all” unless you think everyone on the list should receive the email.
No one wants to read mails from dozens of people that pose no relevance to them and moreover deleting such mails is boring and mostly frustrating.
Also, sometimes people make a mistake of sending off sensitive or private information to unintended recipients. So, be judicious in deciding who should receive your messages.
4. Use Instant Messages (IMs) instead of mails for brief messages.
When you want to send a colleague a brief and instant message, you should avoid using emails as the means of communication. You must use instant messaging tool Skype for Business for quick in-office conversations. This will help you cut down inbox clutter and separate your email from laid- back conversations.
Need to pass detailed info to someone on your team? Easily save & email your entire Skype for Business IM conversation with these 3 steps. pic.twitter.com/FaVuUsVCYa
— Skype for Business (@SkypeBusiness) May 31, 2017
5. Proof read your emails for grammar, fonts and spellings.
Every email that you send has the potential to add to or detract your reputation. Sending emails with grammatical errors and wrong spellings is the biggest mistake a professional can do.
According to HubSpot survey nearly 80% of all respondents find spelling and grammatical errors the most unacceptable offenses and nearly 70% of respondents prefer fonts to be one size.
Barbara Pachter narrates one hilarious incident of spelling mistake – “One supervisor intended to write “Sorry for the inconvenience”, but he ended up writing “Sorry for the incontinence”.
So, proofread your emails before sending them finally as your mistakes do not go unnoticed by the recipients.
Some quick business and workplace email etiquette tips:
- Do not forget to consider the tone of your messages. Avoid irony, sarcasm and satire in workplace e-mail messages.
- Reply to all your emails as fast as you can, don’t leave people waiting. But if the message requires more time, notify the sender about it, humbly.
- Leave humor outside your emails.
- Don’t use colloquial expressions like, “Hey, you guys,” “Yo,” or “Hi folks”. Use professional salutations.
- Give a distinctive look to your email messages with Office 365. Create customized email formats and include impactful images with its help. Also, send messages up to 150 MB and hold messages with the 50 GB storage per user.
- Use BCC, especially when you don’t want all of the recipients to be visible to everyone.
- Attachments are also considered to be an essential part of good email etiquettes used for business communication. Attach your file prior drafting the email body, this will help you avoid the follow up message “Sorry, I forgot the attachment!”
It might take some time to make your emails look professional but with practice and tips mentioned above you will surely make it!
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