How Following Proper E-Mail Etiquette Can Make or Break Your Message

Ryan Norton

By Ryan Norton
Content Production Specialist

How Following Proper E-Mail Etiquette Can Make or Break Your Message

Whether it’s driving your car, eating dinner, or working out at the gym, we are judged by others based on our ability to follow the societal norms and cues that have been set.

At your job, it’s no different.

To most, good workplace etiquette would include things such as: Keeping personal conversations to a low volume, not eating your coworker’s sandwich that is sitting in the fridge, and not taking phone calls during a meeting.

Having good e-mail etiquette is one important aspect that at times gets forgotten about, especially if you are fielding many e-mails from various clients. For some, a majority of communications throughout the day are done exclusively via e-mail.

“Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely essential.”

– Will Cuppy

 

In order to make sure that you remain on top of positive e-mail protocol, here are some useful tips that will help you maintain a successful relationship with your clients.

Be Mindful of Punctuation

Punctuation can add a completely different tone to an e-mail. Be mindful of your use of things such as periods and exclamation points. I’m sure everyone has gotten an e-mail like this:


Some say it’s unprofessional to use exclamation points in e-mails, while I feel that they add an enthusiastic tone to your messages. However, I would not advise using multiple exclamation points in messages because that can make a person think that you are yelling. If you add ellipses in e-mails, make sure you are familiar with the person you are communicating with. Ellipses can be viewed as condescending to some.

Stay Away from One-liners

I’m sure many of you have gotten e-mails that contain one or two words only. You know, something like this:


Messages like these essentially terminate communication with the other person, with negative connotations. Instead, opt to say something along the lines of, “Thanks! I’ll reach out again when the work has been completed.”, or add a “No Reply Necessary” in the body of your e-mail. It’s important to maintain an overall positive tone in a professional setting.

Be Prompt in Your Response Time

Regardless of how the person on the other end is acting in their e-mails, it is important to still respond to their messages as quick as possible. Deliberately responding late to e-mails because a client isn’t being polite doesn’t help the situation. It’s best practice to always take the high road, and respond quickly and professionally.

Proofread Before You Hit Send


There is nothing more embarrassing than sending an e-mail with several spelling and grammatical mistakes. Your credibility can take a huge hit depending on who sees such an e-mail. It’s important to remember that every e-mail you send can either add or detract from your reputation, so please take a minute or two to check it over before you hit send.

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