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Email etiquette

It’s very easy these days to slip into informality and start using colloquial language when writing and structuring work emails. This is fine when emailing back and forth to work colleagues who are your close friends, however it’s important to use your email etiquette when emailing people outside the organisation or even the executive team of the company you work for.

Here are three business email etiquette basics you should check and address before clicking on the send button.

1.Professional salutations


Avoid using relaxed terms such as ‘Hey guys’ and ‘Hey everyone. ’ If you’re addressing an email to one person, start with ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’ followed by there first name - making sure their first name is spelt correctly and not assuming because their name is Michael, they prefer to be called ’Mike.’

When emailing to a group, a safe option is to always start your emails using, ‘Morning everyone’ or ‘Afternoon all.’ It also goes without saying, to always sign-off your email politely, whether it’s ‘Kindest regards,’ ‘Look forward to hearing from you’ – Always finalise an email amiably.

2.Reply to your emails


It’s common courtesy to always reply to emails and to respond in a timely manner. Not doing this shows a lack of care and leaves the person on the other end ambiguous as to whether you actually sent or they received the email. It isn’t always necessary, but serves as good email etiquette, especially if this person is a potential influencer in your career progression, or key influencer in the business or industry.

3.Using the high importance and read receipts function


Firstly, by over using the high importance it will eventually lose its significance in the long-run; therefore it should only be used when you really need it. Also, be cautious when using this option, as emails can come across slightly aggressive, even when not intending to.

Our stance on read receipts (RR’s) would be to never use them, unless it’s a necessity.


Our stance on read receipts (RR's) would be to never use them, unless it's a necessity. It gives the impression that you have a lack of trust in that person that their intentions are to either deny receiving it, not opening it or they haven’t had chance to read it.

The only suggested time where it would be classed ‘appropriate,’ is when you’re unsure if you have the correct or a valid email address. Traditionally, the function was only applied when it was critical to knowing of the receipt of the e-mail by the other side.

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