It’s probably not something you often think about, you do so many of them and so often that it just becomes second nature and rattling them off becomes like breathing. We’re talking about emails. If you’re in an office setting or work in PR or run a startup, chances are you spend a good amount of your day staring at your inbox or composing emails out. We’ve done them for so long and for so often, that we have the tendency to forget that there is actual etiquette that we should be following when sending out emails to all but our closest friends and colleagues.
We’ve compiled four tips to help with your email etiquette, check them out below!
I know I’m guilty of banging out an email and starting it out with “Hey Mike,” only to look back and regret the decision. Especially if Mike is someone new, someone that I’m not previously friends with. Unless you know someone prefers to go by a shortened name or nickname, make sure to use their actual name.
Also, refrain from using “Hey” unless you have had lots of previous correspondence with them. Instead, use “Hello,” or even a generic “Hi” works.
Include a signature block
We all receive too many emails a day and sometimes it’s hard to give each one the attention they may (or may not) deserve. Including a signature block is a great way to give others the option to scan your email and let them know how quickly a response is warranted. A signature block can tell them everything they need to know about you, and you should make sure to include phone numbers and, if your line of business applies, links to social profiles, as well, to allow them the easiest ways to get in contact with you.
Keep the humor to a minimum
Unless your email is going out to someone who truly knows you, limit the amount of humor you put in your email address. So much of what makes something funny is the delivery and knowing the person telling the joke, and many of your email conversations will not fall into those categories. Many times the humor will go unnoticed, or worse, taken in the wrong context, making you look unprofessional.
Refrain from Reply All
Look, just because the email was sent to the entire department, it doesn’t mean you have to hit Reply All when sending your response. Abuse of the Reply All button is yet another reason inboxes get cluttered and important things go unnoticed. If your response doesn’t need to be seen by everyone, then don’t send it to everyone.
Email continues to be a part of our daily life and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Make the experience better (and easier!) for everyone by using the tips above. While they might seem like common knowledge, you’d be surprised how often you’ll catch yourself hitting the Reply All button at the wrong times or starting a conversation off with “Yo!”