Proper email etiquette is like picking up after your dog. An irresponsible pile of poo is a neighborly faux pas. A non-dog owning, bare footed neighbor stepping in a pile of poo while grabbing their morning paper is a sure way to keep this peace… not. Don’t leave a virtual pile of poo in your emails for coworkers to read.
Practicing email etiquette is important to effectively communicate in the business world. If you regularly follow our marketing blog, you’ll probably remember our Email Etiquette 101 post from last week. Follow the link to give yourself a recap. If you’ve mastered those tips, it’s time to move on to more advanced email etiquette practices.
This time there are only four simple tips to grasp, although they’re a little more advanced than the last round. Keep these tips in mind when communicating through email.
To do this, keep paragraphs short, sweet and to the point. Most people today have cell phones. When business workers aren’t in the office, usually they’re checking their email on their phones while they’re out and about. Obviously phone screens are smaller than computer screens, so make sure to have small-screen friendly content, a.k.a. mobile friendly content. A way to remember this is K.I.S.S. – Keep it simple, stupid!
Don’t be afraid to use more bold in emails either. This brings attention to the main points. Using bulleted lists and highlighting key information is another good way to shorten and highlight what the reader absolutely needs to know. This way, everyone wastes less time on their email. It’s really a win-win for everyone here.
It’s important to send information to the people who need to be informed on the matter at hand. If you’re in an email with 50 recipients and they all need to know information you have, hit reply all. But if you’re one of the 50 recipients and you have nothing to contribute to the conversation or if there is no need to reply, just don’t reply. Make sure you reply when it’s necessary, but don’t reply if it’s not.
It’s important to CC people to emails that affect them, but not everyone needs to be CCed. Be careful with who you select for this. Make sure whoever you decide to CC absolutely needs to know that information. You may feel tempted to CC a coworker because you don’t want them to be left out, but if it has nothing to do with them, chances are they don’t really care. Besides, if the CCed person doesn’t think the email is important, you’re just putting junk in their mailbox.
Keep in mind all recipients can see who you included in the email if you use CC. But with Bcc, you can send the same message to multiple people without everyone knowing who was included in the email. The difference between these two could be important when sending sensitive information through email.
Don’t put your photos and documents in the body of the email. There’s hardly anything more obnoxious in an email than a huge picture when you open it and having to scroll past it to find the text.There are certain occasions where it’s acceptable to use an image in the body of the email, but make sure you have a short introduction for the image above it. There’s also hardly anything more confusing than reading an email with random text from documents in the middle of it. Place photos and documents in an attachment for the email. It makes it easier for everyone involved, and makes for a nice way to download the photos and documents if the receiver would like.
Just because your email may require a one sentence reply doesn’t mean you can forget about your grammar. Punctuation, capitalization and proper spelling are all still necessary! ALL CAPS is a big, bad no no. But that doesn’t mean don’t capitalize your sentences, because when you don’t, it just makes the whole email seem like a run on sentence. Keep in mind, most emailing is done for business, so you don’t want to be represented in your emails as unprofessional. Take the time to double check your writing before you press send; you never know who will see the email.
Now that you’ve read through Email Etiquette 101 and Email Etiquette 102, you’re practically an email wizard. Keep these tips in mind whenever you write emails for personal and professional use. Don’t forget to share these tips with friends and coworkers too! The more people are informed of email etiquette, the more pleasant your emailing experience will be!
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