Last month, we addressed the importance of proper email etiquette in the workplace. Not only is it important not to gossip as means of improving your office email etiquette, but it is also extremely important to keep a proper, professional tone, and to thoroughly edit and review the email before sending it off. The most important rule of thumb to remember when enhancing your email etiquette is to remember to always use your manners. And knowing how to construct a proper email will reflect through the manners you keep when drafting a professional email.
Texting and social media messaging are so common today, that most people use the lingo and wording associated in their business communication, as well. Abbreviations, emoticons/emojis, and acronyms have taken over common communication today, but it is important to remember to keep this uneducated and informal communication away from your workplace and business interactions in order to keep a professional image. Nothing looks more unprofessional in a professional email than the use of “LOL”, “Whatev”, or a smiley face. This lingo aimed for use in social media and texting should be kept only on a social level and used in personal conversation. The best way to exude a mature, professional image in your emails is to know proper use of grammar and punctuation. Here are a few grammar and punctuation tips to keep in mind:
- Address your email contact with an appropriate level of formality (are you on a first-name basis?, is the person a doctor?, an elder? Etc)
- Type in complete sentences and use proper sentence structure (be sure the first word is capitalized, end the sentence with only one punctuation, such as exclamation points/question marks/periods/etc.)
- Refrain from typing in once case. Using all caps reflects yelling or shouting in your email. Using all lowercase letters can make you message come across as childish, or simply that you didn’t care to put forth the effort of capitalizing a word.
- Avoid using multiple font styles and colors. It can come doing this can come off as immature and messy. Standard fonts (Times, Calibri, Cambria, Arial, Etc.) should be your usual go-tos.
When drafting business emails it is also important to always remember to use your manners and keep a polite tone. Simple manners used in an email response wholly affect the tone of what you are saying. Don’t be afraid to add words such as “please” and “thank you” when making requests, as to not sound demanding. Don’t hesitate to say thank you, how are you, or appreciate your help. And always end your emails with a proper closing, such as “Thank you”, “Sincerely”, “Best Regards”, etc. Another tip to remember to keep your cool and stay polite when responding to an email is to always refrain from sending an email that is emotionally charged. If you open an email that makes you angry or upset, walk away for a few minutes before responding. Responding in anger may cause conflict, and can possibly burn down bridges you might have to cross later.
Overall, it is important to just remember to keep a well-mannered, respectful, and pleasant tone and temper when responding to your professionally-engaged emails. The two best tips you can use to ensure that you are using proper structure with a polite tone are to: 1.) Read the email out loud and 2.) Never be afraid to proofread! Just a simple once-over on an email can make a world of a difference. Keep your email etiquette intact. Always stay polite.