There are days when it may seem too difficult to count how many emails you send and receive. Between putting out the proverbial fires to following-up with leads, your responses and approach are crucial in maintaining a positive, professional relationship. Email etiquette is a key tool in business communications, and this skill must be learned, understood and put into practice daily.
Here are a few ways to master the art of email:
1. Include all necessary contact information in your signature. Your signature should include your name, address, phone and fax number and email address. Including all useful contact information in your signature helps recipients easily find everything they are looking for when attempting to contact you and respond to your inquires.
2. Be sure to always use professional language (this includes in the greeting of the email). Do not use casual, everyday greetings such as “Hey” in your greeting. Remain professional by addressing the recipient(s) by their full name, unless instructed not to, and with a greeting such as “Hello,” “Good Afternoon,” and “Dear.” In addition, using professional language includes the omission of humor. Many times, humor in email can be misread and thus is better to be avoided.
3. Avoid replying to an email when you are feeling a heightened sense of emotion, such as anger or frustration. This state can mutter your intentions or goal. Keep in mind, an email can last forever. You do not want to put something in an email that you will regret later.
4. When possible, reply to an email with 24-48 hours. Of course, there will be circumstances that will not enable you to respond in such a timely manner. However, when possible, it is polite to respond rather quickly.
5. Your subject line should be clear and concise. Inboxes become cluttered with emails from many different sources and one of the best ways to break through that clutter is with a clear subject line that states the purpose of your email.