Proper Email Tips, Techniques & Advice

Don’t you hate it, when you receive an email in ALL CAPS, AS IF SOMEONE IS YELLING AT YOU? Or no proper punctuation, incorrect spelling, no caps at all? Or maybe you have never thought about this, which makes even more important that you read this one page on how to send email properly!

  1. Keep Emails Short and Concise
    People won’t read your entire email in detail if you are too long winded. In addition, people may even get discouraged reading your email at all when they see how long it is! Seems silly? Maybe, but it’s a fact of life!
  2. Don’t change to a different subject.
    You are better off sending a separate email about different subjects. The reader may just scan through the email, or read the top paragraph. Important information may be missed if you have several different messages in your email.
  3. Learn when to use CC (Carbon Copy)
    CC or Carbon Copy e-mails are a great way to bring attention to the content of the e-mail to somebody that may not be responsible for taking any actions. This can be a great tool on an office environment but there is proper CC etiquette that should be followed to ensure it is sent properly.
  4. How to use BCC (Blind Carbon Copy)
    BCC or Blind Carbon Copy e-mails are used to hide receiving email addresses from certain people receiving the e-mail. Although this sounds a little shady, it can be a very effective means for preventing spammers from gaining e-mail addresses and protecting your own interests when proper BCC email etiquette is followed.
  5. Make action items stand out.
    If you are asking someone to complete an action in your email, be clear about it! Make a separate paragraph which you begin in bold: “Action item for John:”. It will be hard to miss!
  6. Use proper spelling and punctuation.
    Not only does it make it more difficult for people to understand your message, but you also look extremely unprofessional by not using proper punctuation and spelling. Most email programs help you currect your mistakes. Use these features! If you have a difficult time with this, read your email back to yourself before you hit that send button. If it does not sound right, it does not read right!
  7. Create a proper email signature… or 2
    As you know, your signature is important for many reasons, especially for conveying additional contact information. You may also want to create a second email signature if your email client allows you to, just make it short. Just a greeting with your name may suffice depending on how it is used!
    Proper Email Etiquette To-Do: Set up a simple version of your email signature and set it for use with all replies and forwards of emails.
  8. Do not attach large files
    Some email servers do not handle large email attachments. Keep your attachments to a maximum of 2MB. If you need to send larger files, use an online service such as YouSendIt. It even comes with a handy plugin for your email client!
  9. Do not write in CAPITALS
    READING A MESSAGE IN CAPITALS IS HARDER TO READ. In addition, it may seem you are yelling to the reader of the email, and people can take this the wrong way.
  10. Start a new email, if you change the subject.
    Do not change the subject in an email without changing the subject field, or even better start a brand new email. This makes it easier to identify what your email is about for the reader, and is especially handy when you are searching for emails about the new subject some time down the road!
  11. Do not overuse “Reply To All”
    It is good to keep everyone informed. But sometimes too many people may be involved in the email. Especially in business people often receive too many emails. Keep this in mind. When you want to thank someone in an email, you can do that by just replying to that person.
  12. Do not overuse abbreviations and emoticons.
    Not everyone knows what it means when your write “btw” (By The Way), “lol” (Laugh Out Loud) or “ttyl” (Talk To You Later). Keep this to a minimum, or don’t use it at all in business emails. And let’s be honest, all the funny emoticon smiley faces are just a bit too cheesy, but maybe fun from time to time to some friends.
  13. Do not forward chain emails.
    Let’s face it. All these chain emails with big promises are just empty promises. We know this, and yet we can’t resist to forward them to our entire address list. Stop today, especially in your business!
  14. Do not email confidential information.
    Like it or not, email is not a confidential way of exchanging information. Even if you send the email to someone you trust, it can be hacked and read by anyone. If this is an issue for you, look into getting a secure server for your business where you can use secure collaboration.
  15. Use a meaningful subject.
    Always fill in the subject line. Not only does it attract the attention of the reader better, it will also make it easier later to find that email if it is important. Instead of having a subject that says “Product Information” it is better to write “Information about Widget A”.
  16. Do not forward emails without consent.
    We can be quick to forward emails to others. Be sure that this is acceptable by the originator of the email. They may have confided in you with that information. Don’t break that relationship of trust!
  17. Write an email policy for your business.
    People may not understand what is acceptable for your business, and what is not. Having an email policy is a good thing. A good way to start is having them read this web page!
  18. Turn off new email notifications.
    You schedule your own time, don’t let new emails distract your productivity! Disable all new email notifications and pop-ups. Schedule time in your day to read your emails. You will be able to focus without being interrupted on your task!

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