Let’s talk about the do’s and don’ts of emailing. Whether you’re direct emailing someone or you’re sending out an email marketing campaign to a full contact list, there are certain unspoken “rules” that are expected to be followed.
We’ve laid out 10 do’s and 10 don’ts for you to read over so you can ensure you have excellent email etiquette moving forward. These simple do’s and don’ts will help you communicate confidently with every recipient you send to without making anyone want to virtually smack you upside the head. ?
I think, especially at this time, everyone can use a little refresher on email etiquette!
So without further adieu…
The 10 Don’ts (that if you don’t stop doing will get you #Unsubscribed)
Consider it a privilege to land directly into someone’s personal inbox. If you started thinking of it that way, you may be a little more intentional with each message you send. We’re not here to tell you what you can and can’t do, but… oh, who are we kidding, yes we are.
- Don’t reply all or CC (carbon copy) everyone or others that don’t need to be copied on the email. Unless it’s been advised to reply all, it’s best to respond to the person directly.
- You don’t always have to CC the boss. If there’s no reason to include them, just don’t. It comes off as passive aggressive (micro-managing or tattling), and nobody likes that, (including the boss).
- DON’T USE ALL CAPS. (Uh.. don’t virtually raise your voice at me!) No matter how urgent your email is, you will look aggressive when you capitalize every word. Only if it’s a good thing or an exciting announcement can you get away with caps. For instance… “OMG, this is an AMAZING blog post!” ?
- Don’t be rude. Ummm, hello people—be nice. Especially right now. We need to practice being kind to one another even when we are busy and giving feedback/criticism. You’re talking to another person, not a robot.
- Don’t be vague! Not giving enough info for the person to know what you really need is one way to build frustration and confusion, which leads to delays and bad business. (Yikes)
- Don’t just type in the subject line and leave the actual body of the email blank. This just looks unprofessional and will make your recipient feel like they’re missing something and may delay a response.
- Don’t respond to an email without reading the entire email received FIRST. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to repeat yourself and knowing someone isn’t taking the time to truly read what you have to say.
- Don’t send 10 separate emails. If you’re getting caught up on a handful of emails, you’re not obligated to respond to all 10 at once. Simply consolidate your response in one chain. You can create a numbered list, bullet point list, or provide attachments. Your recipient will find all the needed information in one place. Ahh, what a dream!
- Don’t send a marketing email to everyone in your contact list as a bcc or (even worse) directly to everyone. That’s called spam people, and they banned it in 2004.
- Don’t expect an immediate response. People are busy, and some things don’t require an immediate response. Now… if you are really dealing with a time-sensitive situation (like someone is DYING, or business is being lost), then feel free to text or call that person but if not—give it at least 24 hours before sending out a search party for a response. 😉
Now, onto the Do’s!
There’s definitely more you can do than these 10 things but we picked the top 10 to share with you to ensure you’ve got the most important parts of proper email etiquette down. ??
- Say something nice! A job well done or “hope you’re feeling better” goes a long way. The more personalized your sweet note is, the better!
- Thank them. But only in ONE email. You don’t need to say thank you every time they respond. It comes off robotic—that’s not how you talk in person, is it?!
- Include all the information they need, but not overwhelmingly so. As we mentioned above, numbered or bullet point lists look organized and provide clarity. You can always attach a document if the email looks overwhelming. (If you think it could look overwhelming, chances are it is—use your best judgment).
- Reply or forward the original email, so that all the information needed can be found in one place. There is a limit to this, so if the email chain is getting too long, consider transferring the important info over to a Google document that you can both have access to and edit in real-time.
- Only include the people who need the information that is in the email. Truly think about it before you hit send, pretty please!
- Add some personality! In today’s modern age of email, you can add emojis or a fun video clipping (also known as a gif) to express your excitement or mood. This helps keep people engaged and enjoy connecting with you! With that said, also consider who you’re emailing before you go all out with the fun lingo. That funny saying or colloquialism may be completely misconstrued by certain colleagues or customers.
- If the email warrants a reply, then be sure to reply. Even if it’s just “thanks for letting me know,” this confirms to the sender you have got the message and you’re on it! It creates security and trust within your communication. (Insider tip: You don’t have to respond to marketing emails, we’re talking about direct emails in regards to this tip).
- When sharing an attachment, be sure to forward the email. If you just reply and put someone else’s email in, they will not get the attachment. You have to fit Forward rather than Reply!
- If the email is really long or needs further explanation, ask to set a time to speak about it over the phone. It’s okay to be confused over an email and need clarification. There’s nothing wrong with asking to talk it through further over the phone. It’s better than not knowing what’s expected of you and delivering the wrong solution/response to the recipient.
- Always proofread your emails before sending them. Don’t hit send until you’ve read it over! Especially when you’re in a hurry, it should take no more than 30 seconds to reread your email. (If it takes longer than that, there’s a good chance you need to implement tip #3).
Oh, How Mannerly of You…
Be sure to put an end to the don’ts on this list and start applying the do’s. These simple changes will speak volumes about your exceptional email etiquette skills. (How fancy!)
Oh, and go ahead and send this to someone who could use the insight! Except, don’t let them think they’re the problem… ?
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