Rules for Email Etiquette – Hi Readers In today timing Email is important tool for everyone students , Employee, Employer, businessman and for Citizen also. In this article we will talk about about email etiquette, email etiquette for students, proper email etiquette,
Rules for Email Etiquette Objectives
By the end of this unit, you will have learnt how to:
- communicate through Business Writing Skills
- structure effective emails
- understand the importance of email-etiquette in the corporate world
- use the guidelines for good writing in any business communication
- compose effective, result-oriented emails
Effective E-mail Writing:
Today business writing is not just a choice, it is a necessity. It is important to communicate correctly, effectively and professionally. In order to be a good business communicator, you need to follow a few guidelines and put in a lot of practice
WHAT DOES EFFECTIVE WRITING INVOLVE? Knowing your audience The message that needs to be conveyed The purpose of the communication What details to include How to present it in the best possible manner The order and organization of matter
To convey a clear message you would have to have a clear thought process and a good plan of action which can be implemented with ease. Business e-mails need to be terse, clear and to the point. Six essential components Pleasant appearance Proper selection of subject Planning Proportion Eloquence Coherence Your target audience: Co workers Clients Vendors Other organizations Other professionals
E-Mail Writing Fundamentals:
- Purpose: Inform, respond or persuade
- Audience: Who is my reader- my manager, a customer or a subordinate?
- Tone: Selecting an appropriate tone to suit the designated audience
- Style: Informal, formal, friendly, terse or authoritative
- Mechanics: Identifying the writing elements format, structure and tone and the appropriate grammar skills
- Organization: plan, generate ideas, organize information, draft, revise and refine the content
The business populace is less tolerant of spelling or grammatical errors, wordy writing style, poor organization and a lack of clear expression.
Tips for writing effective e-mails
- Don’t under communicate / communicate more than what is required:
Read an e-mail very carefully. Never reply to an e-mail without reading it completely and understanding what is been asked by the other person. It is very important to understand the need of the other person and understand the need in an exact manner. Before replying to an email always ask yourself, will other person have further questions if I reply with this response. Always predict future questions which client may ask based on your response.
- Make good use of subject line :
Your subject line should grab attention and should summarize the e-mail content. Never right very lengthy or very short subject lines. Always put the essence of message of your e-mail as a subject line. The subject line should not exceed more than 7 words. The subject line should deliver the information about the e-mail without even opening the complete e-mail.
- Be polite :
People always think how one could be polite while writing an e-mail. But the message you sent reflects your personality and professionalism, attention to detail, so a certain level of formality is required when you draft a message. Avoid using informal language, slangs, and jargons, inappropriate abbreviations as it may create confusion and could have a negative impact on the reader. Close your message with “Regards”, “Your Sincerely”, “Thanks & Regards”, “ All the best” depending on the situation and content of the
- Keep message brief/ clear :
You message should be brief, clear and to the point. Never write message which creates confusion and makes it difficult for the reader to understand. The body of the e-mail should be direct and informative, and it should contain all the relevant information.
- Proof Reading:
Finally before you click the send button on your system, take a moment to review your message to find out the below details:
– Spelling & grammar errors
– The length of the message
z – Message clarity and tone
– Addressing the query in an appropriate manner with complete information the client has asked for
– List of people to be marked in an e-mail as “To” and “CC” and their e-mail id’s
- It is important to know your audience.
Whether the person is end client, vendor, internal person, internal client, customer of your client etc. Because when you send the e-mail, it’s important to understand what information the person can provide you or is looking from you and whether he/ she is the right person to respond or get information from.
The 7 C’s :
The 7 Cs – are a good guideline for any communication, however they are especially with important for e-mails. All communication should be:
Courteous – tone should be polite, and the mail personalized to the reader
Consistent – format, layout and overall message tone should be consistent with the company image
Clear– clarity of message is important; use visuals to enhance the message if necessary
Checked – spelling and grammatical errors should be avoided. Make sure that all the checks are complete before the mail is sent
Correct – ensure that the facts & figures included are correct. Remember, you will be held responsible for the truth of the statements you have made.
Concrete – use specific words and only domain related jargon – if required
Comprehensive – make sure the message is complete and easy to understand
The Structure: Rules for Email Etiquette
The structure of an email is very similar to the business letter.
- Recipient’s Address:
- Body of the mail:
An email message consists of the following general components:
HEADERS: (Rules for Email Etiquette)
The message headers contain information concerning the sender and recipients. Generally, headers contain the following information:
FROM: Is the sender’s address and may contain the sender’s name.
TO: The address or addresses to which the mail is sent.
CC: CC stands for Carbon Copy.
BCC: BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy. It contains a list of addresses.
SUBJECT: A short title for the mail that speaks about the content of the message.
BODY: Text that is the actual content.
ATTACHMENTS: Optional inclusions of pictures and documents sent along with the mail.
DATE: The date and time on which the message was sent.
Salutation: (Rules for Email Etiquette)
- An email must always include a courteous salutation both at the beginning and at the end.
- The greeting in your e-mail establishes your relationship with your reader.
- The opening salutation could start with “Hi”, “Dear”or “Hello” followed by the recipient’s first name.
- Make sure names are spelled correctly and you address your reader with the required level of formality.
- You could end your mail with “best regards”, “Sincerely yours” or “Thank you’.
When composing an email, first start with a clear indication of what the message is in the first paragraph. Be direct and state what the mail is about. Keep to a minimum length and preferably stick to one point. Specify all the information required by the reader to initiate action. The information in the e-mail should give the reader a logical flow of thought. If there is a lot of information, you could chunk it down into shorter paragraphs. Using bullet points to list information may also be a good idea. Remember to organize the information to help the reader understand what he needs to do. Lastly is the conclusion of the mail and it involves calling for action and thanking the reader as well. The final paragraph indicates what action or response you expect from the reader. It is important to use polite expressions when requesting the reader for action / response. When asking for a response, specify what exactly you are looking forward to.
Setting the tone:
Setting the right tone in email writing is so important. Tone in email refers to how you say what you have to say. There is no face to face contact so an email is like a conversation with the reader. An inappropriate tone can upset the reader, making him delete or overact to your message.
Tone is reflected through the choice of words, the structure of your sentences and the order of information that you present as well. When writing for professional purposes always remain courteous. The beginning of the message sets the tone ideally, so set a direct tone by putting the most important information first.
When you interact with the person face to face it is easy to convey your message or point. Your choice of words, sentence length, punctuation, grammar, clarity of thought defines the tone of your e-mail.
How to manage closing of your e-mail:
It is equally important to understand what to write as a part of closing paragraph. Please find below the appropriate closing lines for your message.
Expressing thanks :
- Thank you for your help/ time/ support/ assistance
- Thank you for your help / support in this matter
- I really appreciate the help/ support/ assistance you’ve provided to me
Expression with future conversation/ focus :
– I look forward to your response on this
- Please advice as necessary
- Please share your inputs on the same/ matter
- I’m looking forward to your reply
- I would appreciate your immediate attention on this matter/ report
Expression to show you care and you’re ready to help/ support :
- If you require any further information, feel free to contact me
- Please let me know if you have any questions
- I hope above mentioned information will be useful to you
- Let me know if you would need any other information on the above matter
Watch your e-mail etiquette:
- Ensure the recipient’s email id is correct and that there are no errors
- The Subject is the headline of the actual message and should grab the attention of the reader and persuade him or her to read the mail. The subject needs to be brief, to the point, clear and as complete as possible.
- Make certain that any attachments that need to be included have been correctly taken from the folders or files. Use the option to zip documents to compress them.
- Take care to address the recipient in the proper manner.
- Identify your purpose clearly and double check to see that your message has all the points you needed to include.
- Make an appropriate closing. Check whether you have clearly stated the purpose and the required response or action you expect from your recipient.
- Do not forget to attach the necessary details for the signature, especially if the mail is a formal business email.
- Use standard spelling and punctuation. Improper spelling and punctuation gives a bad impression about your company. Wrong punctuation can change the meaning of the text.
- Using abbreviations and emoticons is considered unprofessional in a business context. In the global context abbreviations would be used and understood differently in different parts of the world.
- Avoid using bold type face or capital letters. You may think it shows emphasis but it is in bad taste and abusive too. The bold tab should be used only to highlight the key points of your message. Use italics to explain how to speak the text. Inversely typing your mail in all lower case shows laziness.
- Use standard font styles. It is ideal to stick to one font colour to make your mail look professional. As a ground rule avoid underlining texts and use larger fonts to indicate headlines.
- To maintain the thread of the email, trim the earlier message and embed only that section of the sender’s mail in your reply which shows continuity of thought.
- Always double check the To: area of your mail and avoid using “reply all” feature Often mails replies are marked to an entire list when it is meant for an individual.
- Check for typos before you hit the send button.
- Don’t send an email when you are angry. This leads to flame wars. Flaming in email parlance means using abusive or offensive language. The use of all capital letters in your mail indicates you are shouting at the reader.
- Avoid using long paragraphs, long sentences and fancy words. Replace longer words and phrases with shorter equivalents.
- Paragraphs should be three to four sentences long, with each sentence about 10 to 20 words. Leave a blank space between paragraphs. When marking points, number them or mark each point as separate to keep the overview.
- Create templates for messages that you send out often. Paste your templates into your message whenever you need them.
- Set an out of office agent when you are away on leave or not able to access mail.
- Clean your inbox and allot folders for different categories of mails. Organizing your messages helps save time and gives you easy access.
- Do not request delivery and read receipts, instead ask the readers to respond saying that he has got your message.
Flaming is a term used in the electronic media to define a kind of verbal attack. It refers to the sending of inflamatory messages to the recepient which is in bad taste. This can lead to a lot of unpleasantness and work situations spiraling out of control.
How can I control flaming?
- Before sending an email, ask yourself: “Would I say this to the person on their face?”
- Calm down before responding to a message that offends you. Once you send the message, its gone
- Read your message twice to avoid any difference in understanding.
- Empathize with the sender’s frustration and tell them they are right if that is true
- Apologize if necessary
- If you feel you are right, thank the sender for bringing the matter to your concern
- Explain clearly what led to the difficulty in question
- Avoid getting bogged down by minor arguments
- If you know the situation is in the process of being resolved, keep the reader informed at the earliest