When I was growing up my dad would pull out Emily Post’s Etiquette for serious dinner table discussions – like proper manners for formal dinners, introductions, greetings, clothes, thank you notes, weddings and more. He had the first edition from 1922, and a lot has changed since then…a biggie being the internet, and how it has transformed our lives at work and home.
So, I thought it would be fun to talk about email etiquette for the modern day. Whether it’s a personal email, work/company email, or an email marketing message going out to your customers, there are general guidelines to follow that will strike a friendly chord with the person on the receiving end.
Email Etiquette Dos and Don’ts:
- Before you get started, ask yourself why you’re sending this email. What’s the purpose?
- Do remember there’s a person on the other end of the email.
- Don’t send an email out of anger.
- Do ensure the subject line relates to the email content.
- Don’t address the recipient incorrectly (i.e., your personalization should be accurate).
- Do spell check.
- Don’t send or launch before you edit and proof.
- Do check the tone – how will it be received?
- Don’t write a novel.
- Do communicate clearly and concisely.
- Don’t lose your message or point.
- Do use scannable bullet points and short paragraphs.
- Don’t write in ALL CAPS.
- Do use images.
- Don’t use too many images.
- Do have a friendly salutation and a sincere good-bye.
- Don’t hesitate to say thank you.
- Do make sure you have the correct recipient (i.e., check your mailing list).
- Don’t include incorrect or broken links.
- Do provide a signature, contact information and company website.
- And finally: Type unto others as you would have them type unto you (phrase compliments of 101 Email Etiquette Tips).
There are lots of resources and email etiquette tips across the web. What are your favorites? Do you have a pet peeve?
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