There are many forms of communications, viz. Phone calls, emails, chat, etc. In this article, we shall discuss some of the important etiquettes that need to be followed when the communication happens through an email.
Use Professional email address
To address field
Here, you need to type your contact's name clearly, with correct spelling and using capital letters for the first letter of every name. Ex. John B. Smith, Michael D. Collins. Never use all small or capital letters. Add only one contact in the 'To' field. Do not add multiple contacts. If the email is actually meant to multiple recipients, use Bcc or Cc fields. If a few people in a company need to be addressed regarding one particular issue, which all are participating, then use Cc, so that they will know all persons concerned are informed. It is like informing a group that works together. If your mail is not aimed at a particular group, rather for several persons who do not know each other personally, then use Bcc. Do not reveal the email address of someone else to all, as this is a serious privacy issue.
Subject : Give an overview of the content
The subject line is the index of your email content. It should give the recipient a clear idea about the content/topic of the email. So, give a direct and to-the-point subject line like, 'Conference postponed', 'Order Status notification', etc. Do not write in all CAPITALS or all small letters, and avoid typographical errors. It will indicate your unprofessionalism, lack of education or it may give the impression of being a spammer, about you.
The email should be written as if it is being written on the letterhead. All the formalities of a letterhead are to be equally followed for an email as well. No short forms or informal salutation. You need to type the words and sentences in full. Do not use abbreviations. Even the colour and fonts of the text must be black and standard fonts. No colourful or formatted texts and background colours. That would make your email look more professional and result oriented.
How to address your contact?
The highest level of courtesy should be followed to address a new contact. The first letter of their names should be capitalized, always. Do not use the first and the second names together. It is like talking to them informally. While you talk to someone, you would not mention both the first and last names. Likewise, mention one name, for, e.g., Hello, Mr. Jennings,Dear Ms. Harleen, and so on. If anyone whom you address is a doctor, do not forget to add Dr, in front of their name, like, Hello, Dr. Allan. Never shorten the name of the contacts like Tom for Thomas. Also, spell the names correctly. If you misspell the name, it may offend the receiver.
Reply to all
Do not press the Reply button, unless you are damn sure about the necessity of doing so. Make yourself pretty sure whether every one in the list needs to be aware of what you intend to reply. If not, remove all the addresses but the real ones which need your reply.
To attach files in emails are necessary at times, but attaching very large file is something embarrassing to the recipient. Before sending large attachments, you need to verify some compatibilities and ask for the appropriate time to send the attachment so that the recipient will take care to download the attachment and clear the inbox. Moreover, the software to use your attached file may not be available for the contact to whom you send the attachment. In that case, it is meaningless to send the attachment. Also, be careful not to send attachments at the end of the day or at weekends, since the recipient concerned will not be available at both instances to clear the inbox, which ultimately lead to bouncing of important emails.
CAPITAL LETTERS(!): Big NO NO
Mail written in capital letters make you look like an inexperienced person. Words in same size and height may annoy the reader as they have less readability than words in sentence case. Moreover, it is generally perceived as shouting. Keep the tone down.Turn your caps lock OFF unless it is necessary to ON it. Use them sparingly as and when required only for the intended usage like emphasising a word or phrase, on titles, or subtitles.
You start with a salutation and the recipient's name. Follow with greeting words. Moreover, come to the point straightaway, skipping all unnecessary and irrelevant contents, which are time-consuming. Be quick and crisp in expressing your message. In the end, again, finish with courtesy, like thanks, best regards, Sincerely, etc. Also add your signature, which is important for business emails, as if one does in the letterhead.
A signature should contain your full name with the designation, your contact numbers with extensions if any. That would create a positive impression. If you simply give your half name and email address only at the end of the content, it would rather create a suspicion that you are hiding something with contact.
Whenever you get emails, respond to them promptly. Set up a time frame to respond to your emails. Usually, emails are to be responded within 48 hours or at the maximum, 72 hours. If you are not able to respond quickly, at least you should acknowledge your mail and inform probably when can you give a proper reply. That is considered as a courtesy, and the contact will wait for your response patiently.
To close a business deal through email is a responsible task that needs utmost care and attention in following the etiquettes of business emails. Mastering them will build not only your business but also an everlasting relationship with your customers. Good luck to achieve that relationship.