8 email etiquette tips you must know
We’ve been sending emails for al most two decades now. You might think that we are pretty late on this feature, but there are a lot us who don’t know much about composing an email that will actually be read and acted upon. A step-by-step reckoner…
To, CC and BCC, it all begins here
To is for the individual (or set of individuals) who is required to act on the email, CC (carbon copy) is for those who have to be kept in the loop, but are not required to act on it, or even acknowledge the receipt of the email; and bcc (blind carbon copy) is for sending the same email to people whose identities you don’t intend to disclose to the people in the To and CC field. For example: If A wants B to delegate a job to C, B will write an email to C and cc A. However, if A doesn’t want C to know that A is part of this development, B will bcc A.
The subject is the dodgiest part of composing an email as it decides whether the receiver will junk your email, read it later or open it instantly. So, keep the subject direct and noticeable. However, in an attempt to do this, don’t write spam-worthy subjects like “Open Me”, “Read it”, “Hi”.Examples of good subjects are “Urgent meeting at 3 pm”, “Attn: Quarterly result”, “Notice: New Rules for attendance”.
Body of the copy
Make a courteous opening and closing: Since you are not God, and it doesn’t hurt to be warm, don’t just jump to the purpose of the email directly.
Spell the names correctly
And never use Mr, Mrs, Ms with first name. For example, if the receiver’s name is Jon Snow, address him as Mr Snow and not Mr Jon. If you are not sure about the gender of the receiver, politely ask if you would like them to be addressed as Mr, Mrs, Ms. If you think, it’s easy to guess the gender by the name, it’s not.There are a lot of gender neutral and confusing names in this world. For example, the writer of this article knows a man called Dimple Kalra, Kim is quite a popular name for men in Korea (and it has nothing to do with the Supreme Leader) and Shawn is also a popular name for the ladies. So, just be careful.
Don’t beat around the bush
Remember, emails are not meant to read like a three-part Fifty Shades of Grey, so keep it short and simple. The body should, one, clearly explain what you want from the receiver; two, it should be free from spelling and grammatical mistakes; three, have proper spacing between the lines and lastly, should have the right tone, so choose your words very carefully. In case, you are confused about the tone of the email, just read it aloud before sending, it really works.
Closing the email
It’s important to properly close an email. `Warm regards’, `Thank you for your time’, `Sincerely yours’, `Looking forward to hearing from you’ – whatever you use, make sure it’s consistent with the tone of the message. For example, there is no point sending a stinker to a subordinate with a `sincerely yours’ closure, until and unless you don’t want the entire email to read like a bloated oxymoron.
Include proper signature
Technically, your signature should mention everything that’s written on your visiting card, so when in doubt, go by this thumb rule.
Sending an email
Don’t send the email as soon as you are done typing it, take your time, check the email for errors or incomplete information, and then send it. And never write an email if you are angry or not experiencing the right set of emotions. You might want to say “Get Lost” as a reply to your boss’s stinker, but that doesn’t mean you will actually say it, chances of which are high if you reply instantly. Yes, if even an hour later, you feel your boss is a jerk, feel free to write whatever you want to.