What do you consider to be good email etiquette?
IT IS easy to feel that because you are sending a message by email, it can be more informal than more traditional correspondence. That can be the case when conversing with friends and associates but, for business correspondence, it pays to apply the same rules as if writing a letter. Use a formal email salutation and sign off with appropriate grammar and language.
Double-check business emails for errors in spelling, information and addresses before you send them. Sending an inappropriate message to a wrong address can be very embarrassing. Don’t rely on retracting an email once it’s sent. IT’S not unusual for many experienced senior professionals to receive 100 emails a day. Given this volume, it’s important to stick with key principles. Treat an email like a press release. Ensure that you cover who, what, when, where and why to ensure the reader has the context quickly. Keep it concise and the language positive and neutral because an email is in the public domain. Don’t use capital letters or overuse Cc or ‘‘ reply all’’. Not everyone has the time for opinions. If you are dealing with a complex issue, ask whether email is the best forum. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.
Mid-career KELLIE RIGG General manager, HR Solutions Randstad
EMAIL has become a primary tool for business communication but many fail to recognise the importance of using it to communicate effectively to create a competitive edge. Spelling and grammar are just as important. Don’t use text speak or rely on spell check. Distinct paragraphs, headings and bullet points help the reader understand key points. Avoid caps lock text as it can be interpreted as angry or confrontational. Don’t send or reply to an email when angry. If you feel the need to compose the email, place it in your drafts box and re-read once you have calmed down.
Experienced TIM ROCHE Practice leader, Right Management Career Transition The Expert MICHELLE BENTLEY General manager, Donington transition and outplacement
EMAIL is a crucial, timely and important communication medium and can be used to good effect. The subject line should clearly identify the topic to assist in prioritising, filing and following up. The information needs to be concise, clear and accurate. Consider the reader – their role, time constraints, necessity or importance of information. For example, know when to email directly, Cc or Bc and when to not email. The email should begin and end appropriately – beware familiarity in business emails. Remember, once written, it is out there and can be found and identified.