We conduct more of our business online today than ever before. This is particularly true at a time of a pandemic where everyone is encouraged to practice social distancing and work from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Today, we meet, communicate, submit documents, and sign contracts with clients over the Internet. Sending emails has paved the way for us to work and communicate remotely with our colleagues as well.
With the average professional spending 28% of the workday reading and responding to emails, it seems essential that you understand how to use email in a way that is professional and polite. There is a set of rules and guidelines that you can follow to communicate safely and more effectively—and this is what we’ll discuss in this article.
The Best Practices for Professional Email Etiquette
There are two areas you will want to focus on when writing a business email: its content and technical aspects. Consider the following points when writing.
Length: In business email writing, you’ll want your email to be informative but as short as possible at the same time. No one has the time to read long emails every day and you’re making it a lot easier for them if your email goes straight to the point by providing the essential information. However, make sure that your emails don’t sound rude due to being short or inaccurate due to missing information.
Politeness: Start your email by addressing the recipient and make sure to conclude it appropriately. Some business-appropriate sign-off examples include ‘sincerely’, ‘regards’, ‘best’, ‘yours truly’, and ‘best regards’. Make sure to not come across as too friendly if you don’t know the recipient that much. Otherwise, it may sound unprofessional.
Grammar & Spelling: Whether writing an email or a handwritten letter, it’s easy to make typos, incorrect sentence constructions, and grammatical errors. However, this should not be an excuse in business emails as it’s necessary to check over your draft before sending it. There are many grammar tools that you can integrate with your email, but don’t rely on it too much.
Formatting: If you format the text well, you make it easier for the recipient to read. These involve making sure that the font, size, and color are legible. Use paragraphs where necessary as well to structure the content. You can use bold and/or italicized texts to highlight important passages but use them sparingly. The same applies to abbreviations.
Email Features: There are some features in emails that you wouldn’t usually have to worry about when handwriting a letter. Make sure to fill them out to give an impression that you’ve spent time writing the email. These include the subject, address fields (To, CC and BCC), etc. You may also opt to add a signature, which should include your full name, company position, address, and contact information.
Attachment: For many business emails, there are also attached documents that are sent along with the letters and the etiquette for attachments isn’t much different from that of emails.
- Don’t send large files. As a rule of thumb, do not send files over 5MB via email. If you have to, an easy way to reduce it is by re-saving your file as a PDF. This format is known to display the same content and layout regardless of which device or application it’s viewed on. It’s also secure as you can customize the access of the recipient, whether they’re allowed to edit or print the file.
In cases when you’re the recipient of PDF files, you can easily access and edit them using a free PDF editor online.
How to edit PDF online free, you ask? One search on the Internet will open a wide range of free services that let you edit PDF files for free. They are convenient, secure, and easily accessible. You can also re-save your PDF files through these services as a smaller file.
When possible, use a business address when sending an email. This doesn’t just make your email look more professional, it also makes you look more trustworthy.
These are merely some tips on how to send a business email properly. If you have any more tips, feel free to leave a comment below.