Email correspondence makes it simple, easy, and convenient to quickly contact coworkers and family members across the world. However, it isn’t all roses with email. If you don’t follow proper etiquette, you can end up annoying your recipients. You’ve probably already heard about basic email etiquette tips, like using a specific subject line and replying as quickly as you can, but there is more you can do to ensure that your emails resonate with the people you send them to.
Don’t Be Sorry to Bother Someone
When you start an email with “sorry to bother you,” chances are that the recipient already feels bothered by that opening line. Those four words take seconds to read, seconds that the person could have used to find out the real point of your email. Furthermore, if you are sending a business email, you should never apologize for asking someone to do their job. You want to be polite, not obsequious.
Be Small-Screen Friendly
Email is not the exclusive to desktop computers and laptops. People are always on the go, and they read their emails on mobile phones and tablets. It isn’t easy to read long blocks of text on a tiny screen. Keep that in mind when you’re composing your messages. Keep your paragraphs short and your message brief. If you must send a longer message, give a succinct summary near the beginning of the email so the recipient knows what’s in store and can go back to read the rest later.
Also, think about the font you use. Some artsy fonts may look fabulous on a computer screen, but they could strain the eyes on a mobile screen.
Think Before You CC
A blogger for Lifehack describes being copied on emails: “I’d say about 90% of messages I’ve received where I’m not in the To: field but the CC: field were completely and totally useless to me.” Indeed, oftentimes those emails, intended to keep people in the loop, just end up being irritating white noise in the inbox.
This doesn’t mean you should never CC anyone, but you should carefully consider who exactly needs the information you’re about to send.
Use BCC for Bulk Mail
Want to use email to invite the universe to your upcoming party? Maybe you want to share your vacation photos with a long list of people. Whatever the reason, don’t paste a novel-length block of email addresses at the top of a message. BCC everyone in your list. This also respects the privacy of your recipients, which is especially helpful if not everyone who receives the email knows each other.
Do Not Overload on Cuteness
Fancy graphics and fonts do not look good on all browsers and devices and can make an email difficult to read. If you cannot resist the urge to embellish, use small adorable touches that add character but don’t overwhelm a message.
Along the same lines, if you are sending photographs, it’s better to send them as an attachment rather than in the body of an email, so the email itself doesn’t take a billion years to load.
Stick to Your Grammar Guns
Email is not as formal as a handwritten letter, but you should still respect the English language. Capitalize when needed, use punctuation, and give all your emails a read-through before you hit the send button. This applies to both business and personal emails.
Email isn’t complicated, but there are some rules you need to follow to get the most out of it. Did any of these tips surprise you?