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10 Essential Email Etiquette in 2020

The idea of writing emails can be intimidating, especially if you’re not used to it. It resonates with corporate formality and respect to whoever you’re talking to, so there’s undoubtedly an unspoken rulebook towards writing electronic mails.

To up your a-game, we’re here to guide you with ten essential email etiquette that anyone can utilize professionally. Make sure to read everything first before you hit that send button.

1. Create an appropriate email address for yourself

A good first impression starts with your email address. This means avoiding pseudo names and using your first and last name—you can also add your initials but don’t purely use that. If your company has a domain format already, then you no longer have to worry about this part. Creating an appropriate email address can also help you stay away from ending up in spam folders.

2. Keep your subject line clear and short

Unless it’s informal, never leave the subject line blank. Instead, take advantage of it by typing a short and clear statement on what to expect from your message. Treat this as a title for your article.

3. Use professional greetings

Instead of saying “Hey” or “Yo,” use more formal salutations such as “Hi,” “Dear,” or “Good day,” followed by their first or last name. You can use prefixes like Mr., Dr., Ms., Mrs., etc., to present more respect. Just be sure to use the right prefix (there’s no harm in doing a quick verification).

4. Don’t use all caps or exclamation marks to emphasize or show urgency

If it’s really urgent or highly valuable, you can address it through your subject line; or contact them via their number or another platform to kindly check their email.

To emphasize or clarify specific texts and sentences, you can make use of bold, italics, or the highlight feature in the toolbox. You can also keep your message organized by using bullet points.

5. Keep your messages brief and to the point

Seeing long messages can easily pull people off. When it comes to sending emails, it’s better to cut to the chase.

Introduce yourself if you haven’t met yet and proceed with your intent. It’s nice to put in a few shiny adjectives, but they’re not necessary. At the same time, avoid using slang terms and emojis.


6. Be cautious of your tone

As important it is to keep it concise, make sure that you’re not giving the wrong impression with the tone of your mail. Avoid sarcasm, and don’t forget to reread your message to stay away from misinterpretation.

7. Understand the difference between CC and BCC

Before you use these, it’s best to understand which is which. CC stands for Carbon Copy, while BCC means Blind Carbon Copy.

Both allow you to include other email addresses in one message, so they get to see the exact copy. When you use CC, all the recipients can see who is looped in. However, if you use BCC, people’s email addresses are hidden from the recipients, but they still get the same copy. Use BCC when you want to email a group but want to keep their email addresses private.

8. Create a signature with your contact details

Having an email signature can help recipients remember you. Simply put, your name, company name, your office or cellphone number, and any social networks or websites. You can also add a formal photo of you so they can remember you more.

Having an email signature also gives an alternative contact direction if the people you’re talking to have some further questions or clarifications.

9. Reply within one business day

To keep both parties productive, it’s best to reply as soon as possible or at least within a day. This will also say a lot about how professional you are in communication, so pay attention.

If you don’t have an exact response yet, it’s okay. Just make sure to let them know that you’ll get back to them once you get your answer. And if you’re on vacation, don’t forget to use an out-of-office auto-reply.

10. Add your recipient address/es last

Lastly, spare yourself the trouble of sending the wrong or incomplete email by adding your recipient’s email address last.

And that’s it. It’s 2020, and still, there’s no exact rulebook as to how every person should compose an email—as it should. Yet it’s good to know the basics. Keeping these email etiquettes can go a long way either for your current job, next job, or even your future company. So good luck!


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