Email Etiquette: Follow These Simple Tips For Professional Communication

Contributed by: Kaitlyn Bell, Supervisor

Yes, we live in a text, snap, and tweet world. However, email still matters, and more importantly, so does email etiquette. Following a few simple tips can help you maintain professional communication with anyone you’re emailing.

Some email etiquette tips to consider include:

Add Recipients Last
Write your message and then add the recipient email address last to avoid accidentally sending an email that had not been completed; and always check that you are sending to the correct recipient.

Always Proofread
Even if it’s just a few short lines, always take the time to proof before sending.

Concise Subject Lines
Use clear, brief subject lines; do not write your entire email in the subject line.

Consider Group Communication
Seriously consider whether your email needs to be sent to an entire group, especially in a company setting where there are firm- or office-wide options; if it is not professionally-related, there is a good chance you should not hit that send button.

Reply All With Care
Consider whether a “reply all” response is necessary, as you may inundate an entire list of people that do not need to be on an endless email chain.

Take Note of CC Recipients
Always pay attention to whether anyone is CC’d on emails and needs to be included in a response for group emails before clicking reply to just the sender, and unintentionally cutting individuals out of an email chain.

Is it Really Funny – or Just Funny to You?
Humor does not always translate, so use it carefully.

Respond Whenever Possible
Make sure to reply, even if it was an email not meant for you; it is good etiquette to reply to the sender letting him or her know that you received the email in error because you receiving it may mean the intended sender did not. Even if you cannot respond fully to the subject matter or request of an email immediately, acknowledge that you received it and are in the process of addressing it and will follow up. Provide an estimated timeline, if possible, of when you expect to be able to respond more fully.

Remember to Activate OOO
Use out-of-office replies when out for extended time periods, so those emailing know not to expect a response right away.

Check Attachments – Twice!
Double-check that the attachments you have meant to include are attached. Certain email applications even help provide warnings if it looks like you have forgotten an attachment now. Do not send attachments that have secure information over regular email.