With more and more people working remotely to help stop the spread of Covid 19, much of our work-related communication has become virtual. Hence, learning email etiquette has become even more important in the professional space. We must make sure our business or official emails convey the intended messages correctly.
Here are 10 things to avoid in professional emails:
1. A bad or missing subject line.
Never send a mail without a subject line. Make it 50 characters or less, about 8-10 words. Draft it as a summary or overview of the email content, a simple precise one-liner, and remember to grammar check it too.
2. Adding the email recipients first.
Begin with writing the body of your email and the subject line, then proofread and finally enter the recipient’s email address. This is to avoid sending an incomplete or unedited email by mistake and can save you from a lot of potential embarrassment.
3. Informal and casual language.
This includes emoticons, animated gifs, informal salutations, casual closings, etc. It is safer to use a formal and respectful greeting, such as Dear Mr. or Mrs. [First Name/Last Name] and so on. If replying to an email, you can take a cue from how you were addressed by the sender and reciprocate and mirror that person’s style of greeting. The closing or sign-off should also be formal, use ‘Regards’, ‘Warmly’, ‘Sincerely’, ‘Thank you ’ or ‘All the best ’.
4. Ungrammatical language.
Don’t just start typing on your email software, but write and edit your email on a text editor / word document first. Check for all possible grammatical errors, spelling, typing and other silly mistakes. Correct them before sending. Edit and proofread thoroughly. Taking time to send a well-polished piece of communication shows due professionalism and respect to the email recipient.
5. Problematic phrases.
Avoid words and phrases such as “obviously”, “correct me if I’m wrong”, “does that make sense”, etc. Use appropriate speech to avoid making an unintentional faux pas.
6. Complex words.
Use simple language to communicate the main message. That’s it. No need to bring out the thesaurus. Simplify the words as far as possible.
7. Long sentences and lengthy paragraphs.
Avoid them. Short sentences are pleasing to the eye as well as easier to understand and comprehend.
Avoid informal shortcuts such as ASAP, LOL, P.S., TTYL, LMK, etc. They don’t belong in a formal email.
9. Full URLs.
Using hyperlinks with the relevant anchor text over the URL will make your email look cleaner and more professional. Also, remember to test the hyperlinks like you preview the attachments.
10. Lengthy discourses.
Avoid writing long emails. Try to be brief, crisp and to the point. Don’t make your email a bulky repetitive essay no one wants to read.
Keep the above-mentioned list in mind while writing your next mistake-free professional email and create a good impression on everyone. Be they your boss, colleagues, employees, clients, customers, potential recruiter or business partners.