21 Rules of Email Etiquette to Make a Perfect Impression on Anyone
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It’s necessary for every professional to know and follow the etiquettes of writing and email. Especially when a pro is writing a message to a prospect, co-worker or a manager, etc, to avoid miscommunications and mistakes.
Here are some tips of work email you must follow in order to keep your online reputation faultless.
Email Etiquette Tips & Examples
- Use Appropriate Tone
- Avoid Unclear Subject
- Use Proper Punctuation
- Write like an Editor
- Use Emojis Cautiously
- Keep subject lines descriptive and short
- Keep the emails as short as possible
- Select your Email Salutations Carefully
- End your Email with the Right Impression
- Check out recipients name thrice
- Always use standard fonts and formatting
- Keep your URLs short
- Attach the Attachments
- Use a Professional Signature
- Fill out your Email fields properly
- Use Bcc properly
- Use ‘Reply all’ sparingly
- Do not Email to Personal Email Address
- Think before you forward the Email
- Respond in a Timely Manner
- Track Email opens and click-through rates
1. Use an Appropriate Tone
Template: VAIRT+ABC Company Meeting Confirmation
Dear [Prospect name],
It was great to speak with you on the phone earlier. I hope those spring storms give you a break soon!
You should have received a calendar invite from me for the demo we agreed upon for Tuesday, April 7 at 2:00 pm EST. You will also find an agenda and talking points attached below.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
It is best to keep your subject line illustrative and your greeting conventional because you still do not know your prospect well after a discovery call. In the example above, you have kept things friendly and personal and reminded them of your earlier conversation in a very professional tone.
You have confirmed your scheduled meeting and mentioned about the attached agenda, and have signed off formally that perfectly fit with this sales process.
2. Avoid unclear subject
Great talking to you on the phone today; Can’t wait to tell you more about how VAIRT can help your company. I scheduled the demo we discussed earlier and you can find the agenda here:
(Put the link)
Talk to you son.
As you can see in this example above; the prospect anything about the contents is not clear in the subject line of this email, so why would the recipient open it? Plus there is nothing that is personalized about this email, and the greeting is too casual as well and it does not include meeting confirmation as well.
Crafting and sending long URLs is also an email etiquette no-no, it clearly shows that the person who has written it has very poor grammar skills or he didn’t take out time to re-read it also the tone is too casual.
3. Use Proper Punctuation
Problems in punctuation may create a bad impression too. Punctuation carries meaning in every context. Semicolons, Full stops, Commas, Exclamation mark, and other different marks show the boundaries of the email. But if you make mistakes in your punctuation, the reader may find difficulties in getting your idea in a proper manner, let there be no mistake. In order to use the correct punctuation, you need to follow the following rules:
Terminal Punctuation: Every line is supposed to be ended with a terminal mark. For instance; question mark, exclamation mark or a period. And if you miss any terminal mark in your conversation, it would look like if you have never completed your idea.
Wrong: I talked to her, and we are meeting tomorrow
Right: I talked to her, and we are meeting tomorrow.
A semicolon does not act as a comma but in most of the cases, it is used to connect two unique but related sentences.
So this is how different punctuation marks have to be used in an email in order to make it the perfect one.
4. Write like an Editor
You may not be writing a school paper, but it does not mean that you are not going to be graded. The things you need to recheck every time are spelling mistakes, bad grammar, and even lack of introduction and conclusion, that may create a bad impression on the reader’s mind. You need to focus more on your grammar in order to make it the perfect email. For instance; you should know the difference between effect/effect, there/they're, too/to, etc.
5. Use Emojis’ Cautiously
Emojis are the emotions that you urge to add to show your expression to the reader. But not everyone is a fan of them. Even if you work in an informal environment, there is a remarkable percent of the working population that sees emojis as unprofessional So, try not to risk your impression in the reader’s mind, if you are not sure about how it is going to be received.
6. Keep subject lines descriptive and short
Before you send an email, re-read it and check if it is descriptive and short. Your subject line should give the reader/recipient a good idea about whether they want to open your email or not.
For instance; “Hi” is a bad subject line because it does not show what are you emailing them about. It won’t give them your clear message. Whereas, “Summary of 12/2 call” may create a good impact on the recipient's mind and the recipient will have no doubts about the content of the email.
7. Keep the email as short as possible
Do your clients have time to read long emails? Probably not! So how do you convey your message to them? You need to be very conscious while writing an email. Shorter emails allow you to communicate your idea in a better way because the perfect emails are the shortest one. It is an art to write short emails with a lot of information on it. So try to keep your email simple, easy, and short.
Before you send an email, you need to carefully check on to that email by re-reading it if it has some extra context or errors.
8. Select your Email Salutation Carefully
You need to select a greeting it could be either formal or informal but it all depends on whom you are emailing and how you are concerned with the recipient.
A casual salutation is preferable most of the time. You communicate confidently with a friendly tone. Some of the casual Email greetings involve; Hi, Hey, Hi there, Good [Morning, Afternoon], etc. And formal email greetings involve; Dear Mr./Mrs. [Last name], or Dear [First name].
But using words like Yo, Hey!, Hi friend, All, [Name]! etc may sound inappropriate and you should never use them.
9. End your email with the right impression
The content you end your email with shows the tone and content of your email. This influences your lasting impression on them since it is the last part of your email.
If your tone throughout your email is cheery, then end it with a warm sign-off:
For instance; Thanks, Best, Enjoy the weekend, Talk soon, Looking forward to working together, etc.
And what you shouldn’t be using is Sincerely (because it is too outdated), Regards (Too Unfriendly), Warmly (Too relaxed), Xoxo, etc.
10. Check your recipient’s name thrice
You need to check your recipient's name thrice in order to make sure if you have mistakenly written the recipient’s name incorrectly. And try not to shorten their name unless they have signed their email accordingly.
might think if the name Anesthesia becomes Ana, but she could prefer going by the latter. You need to check her signature before you shorten the recipients’ name in the email.
11. Always use standard fonts and formatting
In order to make your email look more reliable, never use a color except for black and use standard fonts, and get yourself stick to the standard font size. Try not to make the words bold or italicize more often in a single email.
And if you are copying and pasting any content, you need to make sure to clear the formatting and highlight it. (Command+\ on a Mac, Cntrl+Shift+N on a Pc). And if you don’t do it the format will be totally different than the rest of your email content.
12. Keep your URLs Short
Create a hyperlink or insert a shortened URL rather than pasting so many URLs in your email because if you use more than one URLs, it can make your email look messy.
Wrong: Check this out: Check out this article on sales emails
Right: Check this out: (Insert the URL)
13. Attach the Attachment
Specify somewhere in your email that you have inserted an attachment so that the reader does not miss it. For instance; “I’ve attached the document for X.”
And one more thing you need to make sure before adding others to an email chain, reattach the files because they won’t be able to see the files that were attached before they were added to the chain.
14. Use a Professional Signature
You need to use a professional signature for every email you send, even on your phone. After you have crafted a professional email, and written your email in a very well-mannered form, why would you even want it to end on “Sent from my iPhone”?
Instead, you should use a simple and professional signature that includes your title or your website.
15. Fill out your Email fields properly
Before sending your email, you need to fill out the email fields properly and recheck it if there is any mistake.
To: In this field, add the email id of the recipient you are trying to start a conversation with.
Cc: This field is optional if you feel like adding someone else on this message Cc them. In this field, you are essentially saying;” hey read this, but do not feel obliged to respond this.”
Bcc: Bcc also copy your contacts to the email, but no other person can see the recipient you have added in the Bcc field.
16. Use BCC properly
BCC means Blind Carbon Copy. To hide the email address, Bcc can be used to protect some emails. It is used when you want to copy others privately. Any recipient that you have added on the BCC won’t be visible to other recipients in the email chain. For example; if you are emailing a group of people about any upcoming event, you may opt to bcc all emails so you are not exposing emails without permission.
17. Use ‘Reply all’ sparingly
Reply: When you choose the ‘Reply’ Button, you respond to only a specific person who emailed you the last. The reply option is for only a specific sender it does not allow you to respond all the senders at a time.
Reply all: When you choose the ‘Reply all’ button, you email back every person who is in the Cc, Bcc and ‘To’ fields. It is very helpful when you have the information to share that is helpful for everyone who cares in the email chain.
18. Do not email to Personal Email Address
If you do not know your client personally or if you haven’t emailed him before, then you must avoid sending email in his personal email address, that can be examined as an invasion of the clients’ privacy, and it may create a bad influence.
19. Think before you forward the email
There are a few key points that you need to go through before forwarding your email:
Some emails are not considered to be forwarded. For instance; If one of your clients is sending you a private or sensitive email, you should think before you forward it to any other person in your list.
There is nothing worse than getting forwarded a 50-chain thread with a note that just says;
Same Thread Subject Line
FW: notes from Tuesday
New Thread Subject Line
Check this out! FW: notes from Tuesday.
20. Respond in a Timely Manner
It is not always possible to respond in time to every client, because we all have our own busy schedules. But the appropriate response depends on the sender.
Immediate Teammates: Since your team relies on you to work in an efficient and quick manner, so you need to respond to them within 12 hours because most of the emails are timely matters.
General Colleagues: You need to respond to your coworker within 24 hours. Or if you have a busy schedule and read their email but do not have the time to respond, you just let them know you have read their email and will follow them up at X time.
21. Track Email opens and click-through rates
Rather than sending passive-aggressive “Did you see my email?” messages, use an email tracking tool like VAIRT Sales Hub. You will know the exact moment your recipient opened it. And if they do not show interest by not replying you quickly, you may find a reason to follow them up, such as, “I read an article that reminded me of you; Here is the link if you want to check it out.”