Email etiquette


In real world we can know about people through their non-verbal communication, in email we can also know their courteousness, ethic, attitude and English level. Emails are used in many ways, it can be used as a personal message to your loved ones and it can also be used as a medium for business communication. Emails are usually taken as an official statement for a professional business negotiation but yet many people make embarrassing mistakes on their emails. To maintain a professional image and ethical practice, one must be mindful to consider the criteria of an acceptable email before sending it out.

Before writing an email, always be aware of who are your reader.  This involves some research and profiling of the reader’s demographic and psychographic preference to tailor your message’s style, angle, salutation and tone of voice for your reader. Understanding more about the recipient by knowing the subject and objective of the email is important. This help to create the right subject line for the recipient to know the relevance of the email to them and make decision on whether or not to continue reading the email. Never write an email without having an objective to achieve. So be sure whether you want to persuade someone into doing something, negotiate a price, cancel a deal or just to inform a decision that has been made. This would give a clearer idea of what to write for the subject line.

Next is to evaluate the content of the email. If you are not writing a novel through email, keep it short and simple (KISS) and straight to the point. It is always recommended that the most important point be stated above all, unless you need to use an indirect message to deliver a bad news. Otherwise, it is always better to put the most important point to the top to avoid frustrating the curious reader. Always have a hierarchy order of the important things to say starting from the top to bottom. With all important points included be sure to check the file size (preferably not exceeding 20k) and if you need to attach an image, try lowering the resolution to an acceptable size.

If your email is long be sure to use bullet points and paragraphs to enhance readability. Bullet points helps people to read faster and segregate the important points from other paragraphs. After completing the email, always double check the grammar, punctuation and capitalization before sending it out to avoid unnecessary embarrassment. Avoid using all high cap letters as IT IMLPIES THAT YOU ARE SHOUTING TO THE READER and it can be irritating to them, unless you have something important to highlight. Many people also use excessive punctuation at the end of sentence to add emphasis… which is unnecessary. Be careful using abbreviation and reduce technical jargon as much as possible as not all people are tech savvy. Always assume that you are talking to a real person when writing an email. Last but not least of the content is to practice positive writing whenever possible. The benefits of positive writing can be very promising when applied with some NLP (neuro linguistic program) technique.

When sending emails to group of recipients do not reveal their email addresses to each other to protect confidentiality. This includes email addresses in the cc and bcc area. When replying to someone’s email be careful not to select ‘reply to all’ when unnecessary as you would be flooding other user’s email who are already receiving more than 20 emails a day. If it is a promotional email or newsletter that you are sending, always include an opt out option for recipient. Lastly as a responsible email user, you must also understand the limitations and terms and conditions set by your email hosting provider to know exactly how many emails can be sent out per minute or per day to avoid violating the hosting provider’s infrastructure. Learn more about enhanced email solution here.