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Tips for Email Etiquette


  Everything we do gives a perception of who we are-- and that includes the emails we send. Think of your e-mail as an extension of YOU.  It is what the receiver will use to make determinations on who you are and his/her desirability to do business with you.  Will your email be given priority?  Remember, it’s only a click away from ‘delete’, or from sitting unread for days.  Read over some of your past emails that you have sent out.  Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes and possible frame of mind.  How would you rate your email?   Now, send yourself an email.  Look at it objectively.  What feeling did you have when you saw it?  Consider the following:


  1. Although it’s not an absolute requirement, use much the same formatting as you would in a business letter. Always use a salutation, i.e. Good morning Betty, or Ms. Johnson – as the case may be.  It’s an opportunity to add a warm personalized feel.  While this can become more lax in an email chat back and forth or within departments and colleagues, it’s always a polite gesture to start the initial contact with their name.   Think of it as similar to having a conversation, when in doubt use the salutation.  Respect is always good taste.

  2.  Good grammar, spelling and punctuation demonstrates your attention to details.   Use paragraphs for easier reading.  Use your spell checker.

  3. Words typed in upper case letters come across as SHOUTING and should be avoided.  Because people cannot see your facial expression,  they may easily interpret it negatively or differently than was intended.
  4. Use universal fonts.
  5. Writing not your expertise?  Take a business writing course.  You’ll be amazed at how many unnecessary words that you include.  Learn to be concise.  Bullet points make reading easy for the recipient.   Number your items if you are expecting a response from the recipient on each.
  6. Be cautious with jokes and side comments.  The person reading your email may be having a very bad day and your comments may be construed to be not funny or even offensive.
  7. Include an appropriate signature on all off-site messages.  Your signature should include at least your name, email address and phone number.
  8.   Send two separate emails if you are addressing two unrelated topics.  Keep your subject line concise and meaningful.  Remember, this is all they have to go on when deciding whether to open your email or not.  
  9.   If you use the word ‘Urgent’ or ‘Important’, be certain that it is.  False messaging can undermine your credibility.



     Kinza Christenson

     The Performance Pro -Motivational Speaker







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