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9 Email Etiquette Tips Every Professional Should Know

email, email marketing, Mulligan Management Group, Training

According to a 2023 Microsoft study, office workers spend 9 hours weekly on email. To put this statistic in perspective, the average office worker spends two hours a day checking and responding to emails.


Yet many people still don’t know how to send or respond to a properly formatted email. Many professionals make embarrassing mistakes that could be detrimental to their professional careers and reputations.


You should consider the dos and don’ts before sending or responding to an email.


 1. Be Professional

Do:  When emailing at work, use your work email address, not your personal one. If you are setting up new email addresses at your organization, use first  (or .org if your organization is a non-profit).


Don’t Include abbreviations, text talk, or emojis in your emails. No matter how laid-back the situation, spell out each word.


 2. Follow Content Guidelines

Do: Include a clear and direct subject line like the meeting date changed or a question about the presentation. This helps the receiver decipher which emails are most important in their inbox and what can wait until later. Keep your message concise, and only address one issue per email.


Do: Include a greeting and salutation.


Do: Check spelling and grammar before you hit send. Wait to enter the email address you are sending to until you have finished typing and checking it.


Don’t: Send a one-word response like okay or thanks unless you and the sender have been back and forth on the same email subject.


Don’t  Use profanity, bullying, harassment, or Not Suitable For Work (NSFW) content. If you wouldn’t say it out loud, don’t say it in an email. Most companies keep their emails on a backup server or in the cloud, so even if you delete the email, it can still be found if needed.


 3. Use the Right Tone

Don’t Use all caps or overuse exclamation points. If someone sends you an email that seems harsh or rageful, back away and don’t reply for at least 24 hours, or maybe not at all. It’s hard to judge the tone of a person by reading their words. Call them or request a face-to-face meeting to judge their tone of voice properly. Sending rageful emails back and forth can lead to damaged relationships or being reprimanded.


 4. How to Reply

Don’t: Reply to or hit Reply All to every email. Ask yourself these questions:

- Is a reply asked for or required?

- If yes, do I need to hit Reply All?

- If not, can I delete or archive this email for documentation?

- Is this email attacking me, my organization, or my co-workers? (If so, be sure to forward it to your boss.)

- Is there a need for a response right away? (If not, wait until the next business day or take advice from your supervisor.)


 5. Mention any Attachments

Do: Mention any attachments in the body of the email. Ensure that the file size is manageable and the format is accessible.


 6. Provide a Professional Signature


Do: Use a professional email signature with your full name, title, company, and contact information. This will give recipients a quick way to contact you and add to your professional image.


 7. Response Time

Do: Aim to respond to emails within one business day. If you need more time, send a quick acknowledgment and let the sender know when they can expect a complete response.


 8. Confidentiality

Do: Be mindful of confidential information. If an email contains sensitive content, ensure it is encrypted or sent through a secure channel.


9. Clarity is a Must

Do: Be clear and concise. Avoid jargon or technical terms that the recipient may not understand. Use bullet points or numbered lists to improve readability if the message is lengthy.


Does Your Organization Need Help Crafting Better Emails?


Call us at 330-472-7673, and let us help train your staff on email best practices. We are in Stow, Ohio, and while we welcome face-to-face training opportunities, we can also provide this service virtually.

We can also provide email content creation and delivery services if you are short on time. 

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