Simple and minor the point may sound, but e-mail writing etiquette surprisingly could play a pivotal role in your good or bad reviews. Incomplete message, cluttered message, email without a subject, email sent to wrong persons, delayed replies, these are some cases which you may take casually but are a direct reflection of professionalism and management skills. How hard you may work at preparing the excel reports or meeting the deadlines; if you are bad at prompt email writing and communication, you overall score will drop down. Why? Managers can’t be standing over your head all day long, sitting inside their cabins; they evaluate your work, your promptness and dedication to your job on how effective you are in completing your work and keeping your manager informed.
Here are few most effective rules to follow for effective email writing Etiquette:
1. Always use a subject line that is both relevant to the topic and precise; which is meaningful, relevant and referred to in mail content.
2. Use a greeting to start you mail.
3. Address a single topic in a single mail, as a mail talking about five different issues and topics may lose its impact.
4. Be precise and don’t write stories to convey your message. Keep your mails short.
5. Be to the point and don’t mislead the message.
6. If doubtful, just write precisely what you know and end you mail with a thanks.
7. Use capital letters only at the beginning of a sentence or to highlight important points.
8. Use a professional signature at the end of the mail with some space like:
b. Senior Excutive – Customer Care
c. email – XYZ@abc.com
d. Mob. – +91 xxxxxxxxxx
e. Landline – 044 xxxxxxx
f. Fax No. – 044 xxxxxxxx
9. Check the spelling, grammar and punctuation before you send the mail.
10. If you are answering a mail, be sure that you answered to all the questions and pre-empt queries.
11. Keep your mails personal, writing the full name of the receiver or if not sure than you can use general salutation.
12. Be prompt at answering mail and make sure you reply all important mail by end of the day or within a preferred time frame of hours or days.
13. Attach only necessary files. If possible you can share the files or data sheet on common drives and inform the same in your mail.
14. Use a proper mail layout or prescribed format.
15. Don’t over use highlight or high priority icons, etc.
16. Follow the message thread, if any, as answering a thread message as an independent message with new subject may cause confusion.
17. Use disclaimers promptly. Be careful in using copyright messages, which need permission for copying or usage of the content.
18. Give a final look at the mail before you send it, to make sure you have written all important point and that there are no errors.
19. Use options like ‘Reply to All’, ’CC’ and ‘BCC’ only when required.
20. Keep archiving your important mails.
21. Know the difference between ‘To’ and ‘CC’, and use them accordingly. ‘To’ is used for the person to whom a message is directed at, while ‘CC’ is to keep the person in loop/informed.
22. Do not overuse a delivery or read receipt, as sending one to your boss or manager can get you in good trouble.
23. Carefully use abbreviations, jargon’s, shortened terms, technical words and emotions.
24. Use HTML messages when required or else prefer a text mail.
25. Avoid forwarding useless chain mails.
26. Do not discuss confidential information on emails, as emails can be on scan.
27. Use tags like urgent or important only when it is relevant.
28. Use active instead of passive tense in emails.
29. Use short sentences instead of long sentences.
30. Don’t use your official email id for sending personal mails or greeting cards unless important.
31. Don’t send controversial, offensive, racist or obscene remarks or mails.
32. Keep yourself updated with anti-viruses and check a mail or files for viruses, before sending to others.
33. Keep your language neutral and polite. Don’t get ironical or harsh unnecessarily.
34. Sign off the message at the end, writing ‘With Regards’ or ‘Thank You & Regards’ or Yours Faithfully’, etc.
35. Use exclamations only when required.
36. When you receive a message and it will take you time to get the required information, just let the person know that you received the email and will get back soon.
37. Resize or compress files before attaching them in email or zip them.
38. You can ask the receiver in advance before sending a large email or email with a large attachment.
39. Don’t add your name in the receiver’s box.