Emails are one of the most common forms of communication today. Businessmen, workers, students, mothers and even companies have at least one email account which makes them able to send and receive personal messages.
In business, emails are one of the most important ways to give and receive information, directives, memos and personal messages. Modern job hunters also use email to send their application letters, resumes and pertinent documents to their prospect employers.
It is important to know and observe proper email etiquette. This can help us to portray a pleasant, courteous and professional image to the receivers of our messages.
Here are some important tips on how to observe good email manners:
1. Begin your message with a salutation.
Show courtesy and professionalism in your emails by addressing the person you’re emailing to.
When sending emails to superiors or someone you don’t know very well, you can address them with Dear Mr., Miss, Ms. Professor, Attorney, etc.
When sending emails to colleagues and associates, you can open your message with a salutation followed by the person’s nickname such as “Dear John.”
Your emails to close friends would look quite odd if you use the word “dear” in the salutation. In this case, substituting the word “dear” with a simple “Hi” or “Hello” followed by the person’s nickname would sound more appropriate.
2. Break your message into short paragraphs.
As you know, people don’t like to read large blocks of text that can’t give them time to breathe. So instead of writing one long block of text, break them into shorter paragraphs. But be sure to make each paragraph deal with a single idea.
If your email is about a procedure or a list of alternative options, presenting it in bullet points would make you email clearer and more understandable.
3. Concentrate on a single topic.
If you notice, all emails contain subject lines. This is intended to give your recipient some idea of what your message is about.
You should stick to your subject as your only topic in your email. Don’t mix it up with other topics to avoid confusing your addressee. If you have another topic that you need to open up, make that a subject of a separate email.
4. Observe the rules on the use of capital letters.
You should follow the rules on proper capitalization in all your emails. Avoid using them in whole sentences because it implies shouting.
Remember, capital letters are only used on the word “I,” the first letters of proper nouns, the first letter of every sentence and on acronyms.
5. Close your email appropriately.
Formal emails need to be closed appropriately with a complimentary ending followed by your name after a couple of spaces.
For very formal emails, you can use complimentary endings such as “Yours sincerely,” “Yours faithfully” and “Yours truly.” But on other cases, “Best regards” or “Kind regards” will do.
For people you know really well, it would be okay to just type your name two spaces below the last paragraph, but you can make it more polite by signing off with a good closing such as “Take care” and “Have a nice day.”
6. Include a sensible email signature.
An email signature should consist of your name, email address, postal address and telephone number. Depending on your company policies, you should include these in your emails. They can help to make it easier for your correspondents to find your contact information in case they would want to talk to you in person.