E-mail Etiquette is a Real Thing
Email. Some of us see it as a burden, some of us see it as a lifeline, and some of us forget that it’s even there.
Since its creation, e-mail has been an integral part of our lives on the internet. Over the course of the past decade, many have argued that e-mail has become archaic — that its functions can be easily replaced by other modes of communication given the rapid progress of technology.
However, I [personally] don’t foresee e-mail going away any time soon.
There are so many different ways we can utilize e-mail depending on what facet of our lives we incorporate it.
In a business setting, e-mail is a necessity towards communication on a larger scale within a company’s network.
In an entrepreneurial setting, e-mail is a necessity towards communicating with one’s audience, clients, or partners.
In a personal setting, e-mail is a necessity towards sending and receiving personal information and/or documents or even just accessing online portals for personal use such as banking information, social media, or membership of an organization.
Regardless of how or why we utilize e-mail, we’ve become desensitized towards the fact that there is (or at least should be) some level of formality when it comes to e-mailing.
After all, if you wanted to be less formal, you probably would have sent a text or picked up the phone, right?
So, here are a few pieces of common etiquette when it comes to e-mail.
1. Write a good subject line
Make it easier for all parties and write a subject line that is straight-forward, easy to find, makes sense, and is actually relevant to what the e-mail is pertaining.
2. Make it a point to respond within at least 24–72 hours
No matter how busy you get, try to respond in a timely matter — especially if it’s something that is time sensitive. Nobody likes to be kept waiting, so unless you are actually waiting on someone else to provide you with information, then take the time to respond within at leas 24–72 hours. Stop procrastinating.
3. If other people need to be on the e-mail, don’t forget to hit “Reply All”
Don’t forget to “Cc” people who were either originally on the e-mail or need to be added. It is a common omission , so just take another glance and double check to make sure everyone is included before hitting send.
4. Address ALL of the questions or talking points
Unless you want to prolong the e-mail chain, then try to get all the necessary information in ONE SINGLE e-mail rather than creating a 30-something-long unnecessary e-mail chain.
5. Re-read the body of THEIR e-mail
Make sure that you are reading it correctly and in its entirety. Make sure that you aren’t missing anything. And make sure you re-read it to make sure you received all the information you needed. Often times, we follow-up on an e-mail to retrieve an answer that was already there all along.
6. Re-read the body of YOUR e-mail (before hitting “Send”)
Proofreading is always a good idea. You never know if you forgot to include an attachment, a detail, or maybe there was something as small as a typo (or maybe you even got the person’s name wrong) Regardless, it never hurts to double check.
7. Sign off in a genuinely nice way
E-mailing can sometimes get quite cumbersome and even downright annoying. What may have intended to be a quick conversation could end up being a never-ending chain that we just want to put to rest. Don’t be passive-aggressive and don’t be harsh. No matter how frustrated you may get, always try to end a conversation on a good note.