3 Email Etiquette Essentials
Email is the most popular business communication method of our time. It's fast, it's convenient, it's so ingrained that we don't always think about what we're typing when we dash off a message.
And that can cause huge problems if you fire off a response before thinking it through or checking it over! So before you send your next critical email, consider a few suggestions:
1. Give your in-box a little space to breathe — wait on replying for several hours or even overnight.
Just because you can reply immediately doesn't mean you always have to! If someone's just asking a quick question that you know the answer to off the top of your head, the instant reply is great. But if it's something that requires a little more thought or research — or worse, something in the email upsets you — put it on hold for a bit! Give yourself time to come up with the right answer, not just the first answer — and time to create a measured, professional response.
2. Never hit send without doing a solid double-check.
This seems like common sense, but it's surprising how often people don't make a habit of it! And you're not just checking for spelling or grammar errors! Some of the worst email disasters — the kind that can wreck professional relationships and reputations — involve not paying attention to the To and From fields! Make sure you're sending the email to the person you intend ... and if you're forwarding or replying and CCing, don't just check what you write — make sure the content of the entire email is appropriate for new eyes!
3. Keep your email replies focused on the topic at hand.
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I always type the subject of the email and then the body of the message, THEN fill in the 'to' field. This way I don't accidentally send the message before I'm ready to. I've seen emails from people who have accidentally hit 'send' before they meant to, then they follow up with an embarrassed continuation of the message.
Move the "Reply to All" button in the e-mail tool bar to the left. It will not be as easily accessable when a reply is made to the sender of an e-mail. All too often I receive multiple e-mail responses that should not be directed to me.
Number 2 is so true. We have professional people in our company that you would be surprised that they have been to college. They send emails that the grammar and spelling is so bad you would think it was coming from a child instead of a person that has been to college and I agree that it makes them look really dumb.
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