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Learning the Basics of Email Etiquette

An email is a powerful tool for communicating. Every professional or even student is confronted with several emails every day. How you respond to the emails of your boss, professors, or friend can be a deal breaker to your relationship with them. Just like talking to them in person, your email must also show respect and a clear intention of what you're trying to convey.

The skill of sending effective emails requires practice. It bears great relevance in business and school email etiquette. The use of email to communicate effectively in both the school and the business calls for a great deal of attention. These need to be done properly.

According to the study conducted by the Radicati group in 2019, every day, around 105 billion emails are exchanged, and it is anticipated that this figure will rise to 246 billion by 2022. Whether you're still studying or working, learning how to write an email is inevitable. Therefore, it is necessary to have a solid understanding of how to compose an email and what constitutes email communication.

However, mastering how to write an effective email also requires high regard for email etiquette. So, start prioritizing written communication and familiarizing yourself with business email protocol— this article will walk you through what you need to know about email etiquette.

Email Etiquette

Unlike in-person conversations, while speaking through email, we can't rely on facial and body language to convey our emotions. For this reason, while emailing your professors, colleagues, and stakeholders, you must be mindful of the language, grammar, context, and correct business email etiquette to use. The standards you're expected to follow might change based on where you work. However, certain rules may be followed by everybody to ensure that email communications go smoothly and effectively.

Here are the top 10 tips that you need to follow to improve your writing skills and email etiquette:

1. Keep your email address professional.

When trying to get a response from your professor, colleagues, and boss, you must create an email address that states your name or organization. Avoid using random email addresses.

Emails should be sent from a company account rather than a personal one. Some people may see the use of a personal email account as unprofessional for work reasons, particularly when dealing with sensitive information. By maintaining two distinct inboxes for work and personal, you can be sure that professional correspondence is kept from a mountain of promotional material and social media updates.

2. Introduce Yourself.

Before emailing someone, especially if it's your first interaction, remember to introduce yourself. It would help if you always introduce yourself, no matter how familiar you are with the receiver. The body of your email should begin with a brief introduction detailing your credentials. If you want to make sure the receiver remembers who you are but you need to check if they do, bring up the last time you spoke or how you two are connected.

3. Provide specific details in the subject line.

When someone receives an email from you, the only line of text they will see is the email's subject line. Make sure that this one line of content is tailored to the people reading it to increase the likelihood that the email will be opened rather than deleted immediately.

You may use a subject line like "Info regarding marketing meeting" if you're emailing a colleague to inform them about a particular meeting. You may notify a colleague of an unexpected meeting via email, and the email's subject line could contain something like, "Urgent meeting at 3:00 PM today in the conference room." The best titles are the ones that go directly to the point.

4. Make your email short and straightforward.

According to the study conducted by LiveWire Tech in 2022, daily, an office worker will get an average of 121 emails. It is an overwhelming number of messages to attend to, a quantity we should constantly consider carefully before pressing the send button. Moreover, researchers from NYU and MIT performed research in which they examined through emails spanning five years. They concluded that shorter emails were more likely to be read and responded to. Responses arrive more swiftly, too.

Because of this, the shorter, the better. When you send out emails, keep them as brief as possible while providing the necessary background and thoroughly clarifying the content. Avoid leaving the recipient to speculate about your meaning and instead go to the point to show consideration for everyone's time.

5. Always make sure that your emails have been proofread and spell-checked.

Individuals sometimes pay less attention to spelling and punctuation when sending emails than physical letters, which is how people did business transactions before. With this, the whole concept you wanted to convey may need to be understood if you use the correct words in the wrong sequence. It's important to review each message thoroughly before hitting the "send" button.

So, Proofread your email aloud to check for typos and grammatical issues that might detract from your message. The benefit of reading aloud is that your ears may pick up on details that your eyes may miss.

6. When dealing with attachments, always double-check.

Emailing also includes sending files and other documents. Often, we would send an email to the recipient stating that there is an attached file, only to discover later that the file still needed to be uploaded. This method can confuse the receiver since you'll need to send a second email to forward the file when you notice your error finally. So, always double-check the file before sending it.

One more rule of thumb: avoid sending a large attachment unless necessary. One option for sending such a file is to upload it to a cloud storage service like Google Drive and provide a link to the file or to compress it and send the archive. In this approach, you'll save them the inconvenience of extended loading times and the waste of their bandwidth.

7. Be prompt in your response to the email.

We want a response from our email before a week, so we must also respond promptly to other emails. The more prompt the reply, the larger the trust between the two parties. This is vital in the business environment since customers may lose confidence in you if you take too long to respond to their emails.

8. Use standard fonts and formatting.

Keep your fonts and format when sending an email simple. There's no need to put so much exaggeration on the kind of text you want to use. The goal here is to create an email that is pleasant to the eyes of the recipient. Use the common black font. Keep everything at a normal font size. Only emphasize a few words or phrases in a single email by making them bold or italic.

9. Add your signature at the end of the email.

As part of your company or school identification, it's a good idea to have an email signature. It will improve the legitimacy and professionalism of your emails. Your email signature serves as a modern-day calling card. Your email signature should, therefore, adhere to the same standards of professionalism as a printed business card. To show a pleasant, professional image, avoid using several font kinds and choose for consistency. Even though you have an email signature, you should still sign off your message professionally.

10. Make sure your email is well-structured.

The subject line, greeting, content, closing, and signature are the essential components of a business email. If you want your message to be read, use paragraphs to divide the various sections.

The body of your email should be brief and to the point; begin each paragraph with the most significant information. Use bullet points or numbered lists to structure your writing if you worry about the possibility of information overload.

Having a system in place for our email mail messages will always be important since it provides a structure for our communication, boosts productivity, and presents us in a more credible light. For this reason, we have established protocols such as appropriate greetings and timely responses.

Remember that our communication always evolves, even as we follow these guidelines for future email exchanges.

We hope we have given you an idea of how you should go about it in your next email. Always remember to be respectful and cautious of your time when responding to emails.


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