Email is now the primary mode of business communication. It replaced the much slower snail mail. My company providing Brisbane bookkeeping services rely on the power of electronic emails. Emails started as a quick messaging option available only to few. Then it was adopted to the earliest social media platforms. With the prevalence of the internet, businesses saw the opportunity of a boundless and faster way to communicate. However, not all business professionals were able to adopt the same level of professionalism they apply to paper documents.
10 Basic Email Etiquette for Business Professionals
- Have a professional email address
We all have a cheesy descriptive first email address we thought of in high school. You might still love that email address, but once you’re in business, you have to use a more professional email. Avoid humorous, descriptive, and overlong addresses. Stick to using your name or the name of the company.
- Always include a subject line
Never send a business email with a blank subject line. Keeping the recipient guessing on what your email is all about is very unprofessional and even rude. Business professionals are busy. They will just scan the inbox for important correspondents. Many will automatically delete irrelevant emails. Catch your recipient’s attention with a subject line that will provide a good idea of what the email is about.
- Reply ASAP, even just to acknowledge the receipt
Do not let a business email sit in your inbox. Reply as soon as you can, ideally within the hour from receipt or within the first business hour. The sender is waiting for your reply. Even if you still don’t have a concrete answer to what the sender needs from you, let her or him know that you have read the email and is working on the request.
- Mind who you’re sending emails to
Avoid a major office or business faux pas by always checking your recipients. Sending emails with sensitive information to the wrong people is unprofessional. When working with sensitive information like my Brisbane bookkeeping services, sending emails to wrong the recipient can cost me a business deal. Always check the recipients before hitting ‘Send’ and beware of the ‘Reply to All.’
- Stick to the neutral or professional tone
Business correspondence should be kept professional and business-like. Emails are already considered business documents that reflect business deals, agreements, and details. Use professional salutations. Keep your tone neutral and use professional phrases and business terms. Avoid injecting jokes or too much use of the exclamation point. These are easy to misinterpret.
- Stick to the business at hand
Make your sentences short and direct. Avoid drawn-out preliminaries and long paragraphs. Use point form or bullets if you have more than three items to emphasise. Keep emails to one concern. It is better to send another email than to incorporate two or more major concerns in one. It will confuse the recipient if you send an invoice follow-up and a marketing email in one.
- Never write in all caps
It is of universal understanding that all caps means an exclamation point when messaging and writing online. You can use all caps when emphasising words or phrases like CONGRATULATIONS or WELL DONE, but not when writing an entire sentence or paragraph. It is very rude and unprofessional, and is tantamount to shouting!
- Create a professional signature
Signatures serve as the receiver’s reference of the sender. Your professional signature should include your name, designation, department, your company’s name, company’s website and your direct contact details. If you choose to include the company’s logo, make it small and use the toned-down version.
- Avoid using fancy fonts
Keep the entire email proper and professional. Business appropriate emails should be monotone and with uniform font style. Do not use bright colours and several font styles. Black, dark grey, or blue are subdued, formal, and ideal for business correspondence. Avoid fancy and script font types, stick to the classics like Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri.
- Proofread before sending out
Excellent communications skills are important to business correspondence. Mistakes will be noticed, will reflect badly against your proficiency and will defeat the message you’re trying to send. In my Brisbane bookkeeping business, we cannot afford to commit even the smallest mistake. Clients rely on us for accuracy and correctness. Make sure that your email is error-free. Proofread for spelling, grammatical, or punctuation mistakes. Keep your sentences short and direct.