Misinterpretation happens all the time. We misunderstand texts, exhibit poor nonverbal communication, and hear things incorrectly. We also misinterpret emails. In the professional world, email trumps most forms of technological communication. Therefore, it is vital to be both formal and communicative in all emails. When your relationship with your colleagues or clients depends on email communication, you should maintain proper business email etiquette.

Rules of Email Etiquette

checking phone for business email etiquette while writing email on laptop

Always use a professional email address. The mass majority of companies will provide you with an email address. However, if you are a business owner, you should create a professional email address addressed to your business. For example, if you own Joe’s Pizza Company, proper business email etiquette dictates your email should be something along the lines of . Learn how to setup a free business email address here.

Also, the To: and From: section of your email should have all names spelled out with correct capitalization. This helps give the impression that you familiarize yourself with the recipient of the email. Furthermore, the subject line should be brief and direct. It should succinctly and efficiently communicate the reason for emailing. Vague subject lines or empty subject lines often will be judged as unimportant. Additionally, if someone attempts to search for past emails, it makes it more difficult.

Start the introduction of your email with some sort of greeting or salutation. Furthermore, do not use colloquialisms. In other words, do not use slang or informal greetings such as what’s up or hey. Appropriate formal greetings consist of dear, hello, and good morning followed by the recipient’s first name.

In addition, simply stating the person’s name works as well. However, if this is the first time communicating with someone, we recommend using a formal greeting. After the person responds, you can then simply state their name.

Spell everything out. Long gone are the days where we needed to skip characters to get the point across quickly. No1 will take u srsly if u type like this :(. Type everything out and avoid emoticons altogether. Lastly, your departure should be as formal as your greeting. Something along the lines of thank you, best, or sincerely will suffice.

Email Tips for Work

Now that you have more understanding of business email etiquette, here are some additional tips for the workplace.

Write business emails in black legible font. Most defaults in emails work best. Emails with crazy fonts, large texts, and distracting colors take away professionalism. Also, do not use all caps. This gives a loud, angry impression. Even if you want to stress certain points, do so using your diction rather than formatting.

When responding to an email, try to respond within 24 hours or 48 at most. Once emails surpass the 24 hour period, they tend to be forgotten. By organizing emails in appropriate folders, you can remember to respond to them as well. Also, be wary about jokes; it is easy for humor to be misunderstood via email.

It is also important that the content of your email is safe to be shared. You never know what is being monitored at work anyway, so if the information could potentially get anyone in trouble, it should not be sent in an email. Furthermore, only hit reply all if the message applies to everyone.

Lastly, create a signature. However, to not appear arrogant keep it to five lines maximum. Additionally, be wary about using too many images and social media links. You want your signature to contain the basics: your name, title, and contact information. If you do use an image, it’s best to just use the company’s logo.

At IT Resources, we focus on information technology professionals. We can help with business email etiquette many other job factors. We work hard to place professionals with top companies nationwide. Our career counselors give your personal attention throughout your job search; you are never just a number to us. Contact us to get started today or visit our open positions to view our current openings.