Email has become the standard form of communication for businesses, both internally and externally. Some businesses rely heavily on phone calls and face-to-face communication with clients. And some look to tools like Slack and Teams for internal communication. But email still reigns supreme as the business communication tool of choice.
There are several reasons that email is so popular
Email also allows for non-synchronous communication–a reader can respond to an email when they have time, as opposed to being tied to a desk. In hybrid workspaces, this can be a real advantage.
When addressing a business email, please ensure that you are not including a whole mailing list (or replying-all) unless you REALLY mean to do so. There are many horror stories about private information going out to the whole team, the entire firm, or even to the public. So check your email thread before you send.
Include a brief description of what you are writing about in the subject line.
In the body of your email, be polite, respectful, and to the point. Being concise is always better in an email, as many won’t read hundreds of words. It’s best to get in, get out, and move on. And don’t forget, when it comes to business email etiquette, writing in ALL CAPS is the equivalent of shouting at your reader.
IFor professional emails, always ensure that you spell check, read and re-read for grammar, review your recipients one last time and remember to include any attachments (if applicable). And standard email etiquette for business suggests that you avoid exclamation points!!
At the end of your email, it can be very helpful to include a call to action or a statement of next steps. This can be as simple as “please let me know what questions you have after reviewing the document.” It might be no more difficult than, “I look forward to our call on Thursday.”
But reminding the reader what comes next and what you expect from them will help keep things moving forward.
In your email closing, end with a pleasantry. “Sincerely,” “Best,” or “Warm Regards” are always popular. Some industries allow for more creative or clever options.
Many organizations have brand standards for email signatures
If yours doesn’t, you may consider including your full name, title, and contact information. If you have a business phone number, list it. Include your email address and any other links that seem pertinent. A professional email signature seldom lists social media links, but may occasionally link to LinkedIn.
Once you’ve spell-checked, and reviewed your recipients, re-read your email one last time. It can be easy to misinterpret the tone of voice based on just one word in the wrong place. Make sure that the email says what you want it to say, and think about how you would feel if you were the reader. Then, it’s time to send. Don’t forget your attachments.