Email Etiquette: Emails Are Not Texts

A teal background with a white email icon features the text, "Treat an email more like a letter than a text."

This time of year, many people are traveling. They may be on vacation or working remotely while offices clear out and get quiet. This means that there are a lot of emails being exchanged in order to keep absent employees in the loop. So, we thought this would be a good time to talk about a little something that you know you complain about at least once a week: email etiquette.

Email has been around a LONG time. Yet, for some reason, people still use it like it’s their diary, a text message, or somewhere to vent their stream of consciousness. It’s not. Within the workplace, it’s a business tool and should be treated as such. This means there is certain etiquette that should be followed when sending an email, no matter who you are sending it too.

Here are just a few tips!

Spell Names Correctly

Nothing shows less respect for someone than not bothering to check how the recipient’s name is spelled. Hint: Most likely, their name is in their email. Their name might even BE their email. Take the extra two seconds to double check a spelling and avoid an embarrassing mistake.

Spell Everything Correctly

Spell check, people. While the occasional typo happens, emails with misspelled words are less likely to be taken seriously. With all the ways to check for spelling and punctuation (ever hear of Grammarly?), there’s no reason emails should go out with misspelled words. And don’t’ think you can slack off on internal emails. You never know when one might be forwarded to a client.

Don’t Email Angry

When an issue arises, or a frustrating situation occurs, it might be tempting to punch out an angry email. Nothing is more satisfying than the click of the keyboard as your fingers fly. And that’s fine. Write it. Then? Wait. Never send the first draft of an angry email. Get out what you need to get out and then walk away. Read your email when you’ve had a chance to calm down and edit appropriately. Maybe ask someone else take a look. Angry emails may only take a second to send, but the ramifications will live on forever.

Reply to Whom?

If you received an email that was sent to a group of people, make sure to consider who needs to receive a reply. Those people are probably on the email for a reason and need the information you can provide. Make sure to choose “reply all” when appropriate. On the flip side, if your conversation gets off track or takes a turn, do everyone a solid and remove the uninterested parties from the email chain.

An Email is Not a Text

Email should not be treated like texts, and while you might fire off hundreds of them in a day, they still should be properly punctuated, formatted, and words should not be abbreviated to text speak. Careful with the “lol’s” and the emojis. While these may be appropriate for certain people,  be mindful of the recipient before getting too laid back.  

 

A good overall rule of thumb? Treat an email more like a letter than a text. There should be a greeting, a properly formatted body, and a sign-off. Want to practice? Send us one, and we’ll tell you how you did!

 

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