Email has been around for a while now, and one would think, the errors would have gotten sorted out. Unfortunately, that simply isn’t true. There is still a need to understand what is and isn’t appropriate to include in an email, especially in the business world. Here are some things that you definitely should not include in a business email.
You are not emailing a friend. Even if your coworker is your friend, that doesn’t make it appropriate to throw all etiquette out the window. Especially if you’re communicating with clients or those higher up in your company….formality is very important. Using an informal tone, text-like abbreviations (lol), or emojis , is just not appropriate. In fact, this annoys people. When you use this kind of informality, it conveys a lack of respect for the person you’re communicating with, as well as the information you’re communicating. If you want to be taken seriously—and not receive a reprimand—don’t use any form of informality in your business emails.
Misspellings, improper format, missing subject line
Misspelled words is a quick turn-off to someone reading your business email. It is seen as very unprofessional, and it damages your reputation. Spell check is incorporated into email these days, but that doesn’t let you off the hook. Always, always, ALWAYS read through your email once, and then twice to make sure that everything is spelled correctly.
Re-reading will also help you to catch improper format or bad grammar. If it was necessary to copy and paste text into your email, sometimes that leaves the format looking strange, so be aware. Additionally, unusual fonts or images will translate into something completely different to the receiver. Make sure that your font is professional and business-like.
A missing subject line is a quick way to find your email in the recipient’s spam. The email software could automatically send it there, and if not, the recipient may just as easily do that rather than open an unknown correspondence. Make your subject clear and to-the-point. This keeps your email from ending up in the spam box, and increases the probability of your email being opened and responded to promptly.
Angry or emotional messages
If a problem arises between you and a coworker, do not, I repeat, do not respond in an email. There is a disconnect between the brain and the keys that make you write things that would never have been said in public. Don’t give in to the urge to respond immediately in an angry fashion. Choose instead to let those emotions fizzle down, and then talk to that person either face to face or over the phone. Protect your reputation and keep from any embarrassment.
Quit Your Job
This is a deceptive way of avoiding conflict, but it will result in bridges being burned. When it comes time to quit your job, you owe your boss the respect of handing in your resignation face-to-face. Don’t take the easy way out—and earn a bad reputation—by quitting over email.
Those are four of the most common business email errors that you should avoid. Don’t let your reputation be hurt by this simple and useful tool for communication. Instead, start using proper email habits. Both you and your recipients will be glad you did.
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