“You’ve Got Mail!” Your Guide to Professional Email Etiquette



In the digital age of Facebook, Snapchat and text, emailing for young millenials is said to be a thing of the past. However, at the workplace it is the furthest thing from obsolete. Email is quite the tool when the proper etiquette is applied. CIIC uses these tips as best practices for overall office communication and efficiency.

When sending an email your subject line should be very clear to the recipient as to what the body of your email will entail. It is impossible to predict your recipient’s workload and email flow. Therefore, it’s always appreciated when you can interpret the purpose and urgency of an email at first glance, thereby allowing the recipient to efficiently manage and prioritize the email. A vague subject line will not be given priority to one that is clear and specific.

The body of your email should also be very concise. A specific subject line allows you to be more direct in your email without the introduction and extra fluff. Always be mindful of your tone, as messages can be easily misconstrued. Too many words can shut readers off; therefore it is advised to break your email up into paragraphs of one to three sentences rather than text blocks.

Emojis and emoticons are strongly discouraged unless you have a strong working relationship with the recipient. Always ask yourself if they are truly necessary or only used to compensate for your tone or an ambiguous message. If so, it is best to rephrase so that your message is clearly conveyed.

The “reply all” option is truly discouraged. It not only clutters a mailbox but it is time consuming to delete. It’s always best to only include the specific parties your email concerns. When you copy an entire office or supervisor, it may come across irritating and passive aggressive.

Prior to sending your email ask yourself the following questions: will the answer to my question be a quick response? Do I have a close relationship with the recipient? If your answer to these questions is yes, consider sending an instant message instead. Instant messaging allows you to quickly and informally communicate. You can ask questions and receive an answer in a timely manner without the formalities and clutter of an email. At CIIC, our primary form of communication within the office is G Chat and Skype. When contacting media, clients, and other professionals we always prefer the reliable email.

For more helpful insight on email etiquette read the full article here.