Email Manners – Writing Politely

 In Communication, Email, Etiquette, Writing

Email Manners – Writing Politely

Email is a more formal way to communicate with colleagues than chat. There have been certain social expectations and rules that have evolved over time. If you don’t follow these rules, you may be seen negatively. Email Etiquette involves using a polite tone and representing yourself professionally. It also includes writing clearly and responding promptly to emails.

Use a polite tone and respect for their time. Your communication style reflects your personality, work ethic, and attention to detail. Proper email etiquette can help you project a professional image for your employees and organisation.

emailetiquetteEmail Manners: How to write politely

1. Use professional greetings

Use a salutation that suits the relationship between you and the recipient. A casual greeting like “Hello” is appropriate if you’re sending an email to coworkers. You can use a formal greeting such as “Dear” if you are contacting someone for first time, or if they’re a professional acquaintance. It is best to use the name of the person exactly as it appears in their email signature. If you haven’t seen their signatures, don’t assume their name is the same as their nickname.

2. Standard formatting is recommended

Business emails can be used in standard fonts such as Times New Roman and Arial. They also work well with standard colors, sizes, and font styles. Bold or italic fonts should not be used on more than one word, or a string of words, in an email.

3. Include a clear subject line

Your email title should be clear enough that the recipient can immediately understand what it is about. If you are emailing to follow-up on a presentation you might write: Quick question about your presentation.

4. Do not use all caps

You should use sentence case for formal communication. Avoid using all caps, as it could make your message sound like you are shouting at the audience.

5. Double-check attachments

You can cut and paste information to an email instead of attaching a document. If you are unable to do so, inform the recipient in the body of the email that you have attached the document. It is also a good practice to compress or attach the documents in a zip file. This will make it take up less space in the recipient’s inbox. You might also consider sharing documents and providing a link for the recipient to access them.

6. Proofread

Correct grammar and spelling are essential when you send business correspondence. Before you hit Send, proofread all of your work. Double-check spelling and email addresses of recipients. Sometimes, autocorrect can alter names.

7. Describe your purpose

Your purpose should be clear in your email. Then, move on to the main text. People want to quickly read emails, so make sure your sentences are short and concise. To present a professional image for yourself and your company, you will need to be careful with grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

It may not be possible to thank the recipient for their email. Instead, start by explaining your purpose. You could write, for example, “I am writing to inquire about” or “I am referring to”

8. Avoid using humor or colloquialisms across cultures

Your colleagues from overseas may misunderstand funny colloquialisms and sayings. You could make them feel out of place or insulted.

9. Add your name and contact information at the bottom.

Many e-mail clients offer the option to create a digital signature. This is a short message that will appear at the bottom all your e mails. It should contain your name, organisation, website URL, phone number, and business address.

10. Before you forward

It is a good idea to briefly summarise the contents of any discussion so that the recipient knows exactly what you want from them. Keep in mind, however, that not all emails are meant to be sent and may contain sensitive or private information. Be cautious when forwarding emails.

Last Thoughts

Good manners are important. You won’t come across pushy if you extend the usual courtesies. Start with greetings such as “Hello,” “Good morning,” or even “Dear.” When you ask for action, use “please”, even if your boss is the one asking. It does not mean that you are being pushy or pleading. It shows that you are professional and polite.

Email can provide information on any subject matter. While most people use e-mail for personal communication purposes, employees must ensure that they understand e-mail tone and the best practices for their job. These guidelines are useful for professional communication but they are not intended for everyone.

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