An office employee in today’s world is likely to devote about a quarter of their time at work scrutinizing through the plethora of emails other employees send and receive each day.
And yet, a vast number of professionals still have no idea how to use appropriately through proper email etiquette.
The rules of email etiquette are strictly not in the sense that you will be punished if you don’t follow them. As people send and receive so many messages each day, it is very like that they may end up making humiliating mistakes that would be costly in a professional interaction. These email etiquette are kind of like guidelines for avoiding such embarrassing mistakes and misunderstanding.
For example, one might miss a spelling error while composing an email hastily or working on smartphone keyboard. There is a chance the tone of your email might be construed as too casual or unprofessional.
So, overall, the email etiquette rules discussed below will help us all to communicate in a better way.
Caution before using “reply all.”
It is against email etiquette to forward/reply-all to 20 people that have nothing to do with your email reply. Consider how much misery you will be putting these people in, they will be receiving pop-ups and notifications on their smartphones etc. It will waste their bandwidth as well to un-necessarily check email notifications. So, remember, don’t hit “reply all”, unless you believe everybody on the list needs to receive the email.
Refrain from Forwarding Hoaxes
Hoaxes can be categorized as those forwarded letters you receive (which mostly are sent to Spam), telling of interesting (funny or scary) stories of different natures like new laws, computer viruses, something for free and so much more. You will find that all these things have a common denominator, they are not true. So, always refrain from forwarding these stories unless they have been investigated and verified by you.
These hoax stories are an irritant to the emailed person and there is a chance they will pass it on, spreading even more misery. Some people might identify the hoax and reply back to you telling that you passed on a hoax and embarrassing you.
If you realized a message to be a hoax but still forward it, then do include your reason along with the message.
Keep usage of exclamation points to a minimum
If you are using exclamation point in your email, try using it only for conveying excitement. Often people get carried away and type in a lot of exclamation points at the end of sentences.
The result is will either be construed as too emotional or immature. So, use exclamation points only where you feel necessary and don’t overuse the, one will communicate you emotion as properly as a 100
Keep Emails Short
It is natural that any long looking writing looks intimidating for reading and an email is no exception. Long paragraphs and long run-on sentences in a sequence, which never seem to stop but appear to be going to no conclusion and statement, do not help your cause a single bit.
Make sure to write only as long and as much as the matter should be appropriately conclude in. It is of imperative that business emails be concise.
Of course, in case of personal emails, you can make them as flowery and long winded as you like, but fewer and simpler words will always be preferred.
To make long, continuous paragraphs appear more attractive and less intimidating on first glance, you should try to break up the paragraph into as much bullets as possible.
Also make sure not to cramp together all information you want to tell a recipient into one message. Particularly, try to send a new message for each distinct action you want taken by the recipient. This way they can get their emails organized and will be able to follow your demands much more productively. Hey, there is a chance they might start doing these same actions in their correspondence with you as well, making the ordeal much more easier for you.
Use humor with caution
Humor is present in every culture and every language, but still it can easily get lost in translation. The reason is that humor is mostly culture, region and language specific. Humor can depend on body language as well e.g. something funny when spoken may take on a completely different tone when written.
Add all above scenarios and you have a perfect recipe for disaster if your favorite joke that makes everyone around laugh, gets lost in translation when send as a job application to another country. Simply put, something that appears to be funny to you may not be funny to the other person and so in a professional exchange, it is better to leave the humor out.
Use Latest updated Antivirus protection package
Worms and viruses can be spread easily from the internet. One of the main spreading sources is the Email. These uninvited guests hop on to the email message without your knowledge, and spammers can use the open relays that have been established by viruses sent through these email messages, to send junk mail from these affected computers.
It is, thus, a very important email etiquette that you keep a latest internet security package, keep it update and apply security fixes to your email software.
Keep in mind Culture differences !
When you are communicating with a culture barrier in-between, miscommunication can easily occur. The chances increase with written form, as we are unable to correct a wrong understanding by taking cues from body language. So always try to adapt your message to the receivers cultural back ground.
A good rule is that before doing business with some body from a high-context culture (Chinese, Japanese or Arab) is to get to know them. It is common for business associates from these contries to express themselves more personally in their writings. On the other hand, low-context culture (German, Scandinavian or American) people tend to get to the point swiftly.
Take permission before sending Huge Attachments
Did you enjoyed that thought provoking 300 MB video clip your friend send > even if you did, there is a good chance other people did not feel very elevated afterwards. Somebody just wanting to get a quick peak through their inbox might end up waiting for their email app to download the 300 MB file for the half hour.
Most company emails have small mailbox limits and large attachments can block it, preventing the owner from accessing the account.
It is imperative that you follow the email etiquette and always ask before sending a large file via email. It also makes sense to compress whenever possible and to send small versions of images rather than full-resolution ones.
A better alternative to sending large files from emails is to use file sharing services and just mention the downloadable link to the file in the message body.