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Home > Emails > 29 Email Etiquette Rules to Write Professional & Effective Emails

29 Email Etiquette Rules to Write Professional & Effective Emails

Jessica Shee
Written by
Jessica SheeProfessional Tech Writer
Updated on:Jan 04, 2024

Research shows that on average U.S. employee spends approximately a quarter of their working hours engaged in emails. Therefore, developing the skills of writing professional and effective business emails is crucial to succeed in a person’s career.

If you want to be efficient and proficient in email communication, it is essential to familiarize yourself with email etiquette. This article presents 29 practical email etiquette examples, rules, and tips that will enable you to be successful in the workplace.

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What is email etiquette?

Email etiquette is a set of guidelines describing how to write and respond to emails in a professional and polite way. It includes a variety of elements of email communication, such as language, tone, formatting, and general behavior. Depending on your connection with the recipient, as well as the recipient's industry, organization, culture, and even age, you may need to adjust the rules for proper email etiquette.

Why is email etiquette important?

Companies and individuals can benefit from following email etiquette rules for these reasons.

Demonstrating professionalism. Using email etiquette shows that you respect others and you are reliable and competent at work.

Communicating effectively. Following proper email etiquette makes your communications concise and understandable to recipients, minimizing misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

Maintaining positive relationships. Good email etiquette can enhance your professional reputation, facilitating collaboration with colleagues, clients, and business partners.

Avoiding mistakes. The best practices for email etiquette reduce the chances of errors and mistakes in a business email that may lead to embarrassment or serious consequences.

29+ Email Etiquette Tips and Rules for Professionals

1. Use standard formatting

Informal or incomplete business email is considered to be a violation of email etiquette. A standard business email format should be well-structured with a subject line, greeting, body, closing, sign-off, and signature.

Learn more: What is the formal email format?

2. Use a professional and respectful tone

Maintain a professional tone throughout your email to reflect your professionalism. Avoid slang, jargon, or overly casual expressions that could spoil trust in the workplace.

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3. Email with a professional email address

Using your company email address shows a high level of email etiquette. If you have to use a personal email account to deal with work-related emails, it is ideal to use your full name to demonstrate a professional image.

4. Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) appropriately

It is proper email etiquette to use the BCC when sending emails to a large group of recipients who do not know each other to protect their emails from being exposed to others.

Learn more: How to use CC and BCC in emails?

5. Craft a clear and concise subject line

Follow the email etiquette by summarizing a descriptive and short subject line. It enables recipients to understand the purpose and prioritize their responses quickly. No subject line or a long, vague subject line will make your email look spammy and be moved to the trash.

6. Start with a professional salutation and greeting

Begin your email with a polite and appropriate salutation and greeting. Depending on your relationship with the recipient and the communication situation, you can tailor the salutation and greeting accordingly, but never greet people with too casual and impersonal expressions like "Hey ya", "Yo", " Hi folks", and "Hi guys".

Learn more: How to start an email?

7. Introduce yourself clearly

Another email etiquette rule is to provide a brief introduction of yourself and your company to establish context when corresponding with someone new or sending a follow-up.

Learn more: How to introduce yourself in an email?

8. Be cautious with humor and emojis

In the workplace, be careful with humor, sarcasm, emoji, emoticons, and memes while writing business etiquette email. They can be misinterpreted in written communication and become huge distractions.

9. Keep confidential information secure

Be careful when communicating sensitive or confidential information over email. A good guideline for business email etiquette is to steer away from written messages and consider encryption.

10. Keep your emails concise and to the point

Watch out for your email length. Long, rambling emails can be overwhelming and may result in key information being overlooked. You show your respect for the recipient's time by getting straight to the point.

11. Refrain from using exclamation points

In business etiquette email, you shouldn't use the exclamation mark more than once to convey excitement. Your message will seem aggressive, angry, and unprofessional if you use too many exclamation points in one email.

12. Don't use all caps

It is acceptable to use proper capitalization for emphasis when necessary. However, using all capital letters might cause others to misinterpret your message and intentions.

13. Keep your fonts classic

Your email will be difficult to read with bizarre fonts, wild colors, and unconventional sizes. Stick to standard email norms to use classic and consistent font throughout the email content: Color: Black

Size: 10 or 12 point

Fonts: Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, or Times New Roman

14. Practice good grammar and spelling

Poorly written emails can have a negative impact on your career because it indicates that you have no attention to detail. As a professional, you should know how to use grammar and spelling tools to avoid mistakes.

15. Share links correctly

It is not proper email etiquette to paste entire URLs into your email. Instead, provide hyperlinks or shortened URLs to make your email easier for the recipient to open.

16. Avoid excessive abbreviations and acronyms

While you can use the industry-specific abbreviations and acronyms that can be understood by you and your recipients, stay away from overuse to avoid confusion.

17. Reply to emails within 24 hours

Although you are unable to reply to all emails immediately, you can browse your inbox and prioritize your responses. Strive to reply to emails promptly, ideally within 24 hours.

18. Think twice before forwarding

Never forward chain emails or irrelevant messages that can clutter recipients' inboxes. It is important to summarize the discussion in the email thread. Don't forward emails that are not intended to be forwarded.

19. Use "Reply All" sparingly

The "Reply All" function is useful but can sometimes cause serious business email etiquette mistakes. Before pressing the "Reply All" button, make sure your response is relevant and necessary for everyone.

20. Be mindful of attachments

Attaching supportive documents in your business email is good email etiquette. Compress large files and inform the recipient about any attachments.

21. Set informative out-of-office replies

When you are unable to respond promptly because you are away from work, set up an automated out-of-office reply to inform others of your unavailability and provide an alternative contact in case of urgency.

22. Be aware of cultural differences

It is strongly suggested that you learn the cultural background and linguistic taboos of your business associates before engaging in any international business communication.

23. Double-check the recipient's email address

Before sending the email, verify the recipient's email address to be correct. This will help you avoid sending confidential files or unnecessary emails to the wrong hand by accident.

24. Proofread before sending

One of the most important email etiquette is to proofread your emails before hitting the Send button. It helps catch any errors and identify areas for improvement.

25. Choose a sign-off‍ sparingly

You should maintain email etiquette for a lasting impression to the end of your email by using a professional and appropriate sign-off, such as "Sincerely", "Very Respectfully", or "Kind Regards".

Learn more: How to end an email?

26. Include a professional email signature

Create a professional signature and allow your email client software to add it to emails automatically. A business-like email signature should contain your full name, job title, company name, contact information, and any relevant links.

27. Insert a call to action

It is effective to place your call to action near the conclusion of your email body so that the recipients will understand what has to be done and take action immediately.

28. Track email opens and click-through rate

If you have a mailing list, use an email tracking tool to know who doesn't open a previous email. You can decide when and to whom to send reminders. The click-through rate may be used to change your subject line for a later mailing.

29. Create mobile-friendly messages

Over a third of business professionals open their emails on mobile devices, so it is part of email etiquette to ensure your emails are friendly to read on a phone or tablet.

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  • Ensure a consistent and professional tone in your emails

Conclusion

Your communication skills portray your personality and professional capabilities. By adhering to emails etiquette for business, you can create a positive impression and open up opportunities for career advancement. Follow the business email etiquette tips in the article or use an effective AI-powered email writer to generate high-quality email messages.

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