We all have that one colleague who has atrocious email etiquette and they tend to get away with it because there is no stress on good email etiquette as yet in our country. Sometimes, unknowingly, we are that colleague. At times, when we are in a hurry, we make the silliest mistakes in terms of typos or basic grammatical errors. While these small errors may not seem like a big thing and will not hinder the reader from understanding what it is that you've sent, it will reflect badly on you professionally.
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We send a lot of professional mails on a daily basis to clients and vendors we haven't seen or met. These people judge us, like we judge them, solely based on the emails exchanged. In such a scenario, if we flounder while writing emails, it risks our chances of establishing a good relationship outside the company. Here are seven signs of bad email etiquette and how to rectify them.
Start by introducing yourself
If you're sending a mail to a vendor who you met three months ago, start by giving a brief introduction of yourself. Directly diving into the purpose of the email in such a situation can come across as rude. On the other hand, a formal and extensive biography is not needed either.
Go easy on exclamation marks
If you believe that using exclamation marks repeatedly in your email will help you get your point across strongly, you're wrong. You should restrict yourself from using more than one exclamation mark in business emails or you risk appearing childish.
If an email warrants a reply, don't just leave it unanswered. The sender needs to know you have received and read the email and got the necessary information. You can simply acknowledge it with a 'noted' to put the sender at ease.
Avoid shortcuts and emoticons
We cannot stress enough on how important it is to type the full word and not use sms language in emails. Writing '4 u' instead of 'for you' is extremely unprofessional. The same goes for the use of emoticons. If you need to convey how you feel, put it in words. Save emoticons and shortcut language for when you're texting your best friend.
On point subject lines
People receive tons of emails daily, and if your subject line doesn't arouse the curiosity of the reader, it will either be read later or trashed altogether. Keep your subject line crisp yet covering the purpose of the email. If you've mastered the art of writing effective subject lines, your email etiquette is better than you think.
Don't send large attachments unannounced
Sending large attachments can clog the receiver's inbox causing other important emails to bounce. If you must send the attachment, call the receiver and ask them if it is alright to send a large file attachment over email or is it okay if you use another online data sharing method to send across the information.
Don't 'reply all' unless you have to
Unless every member on the chain needs to receive that information, refrain from clicking on 'reply all'. Not all emails need to be sent to everybody, and you should take the time to loop out those individuals who will otherwise treat your sent mail as spam.
Your emails are a reflection of who you are. Therefore, it is time to mend your email etiquette to prevent causing professional harm to yourself. As rightfully said by Peter Post, “Other people's opinions matter and in the professional world, their perception of you will be critical to your success,” as stated by Inc.