16 Email Etiquette Rules Every Professional Should Follow

Emails are a crucial part of any business, with an average of 121 emails received by employees. Yet, most of us still undervalue appropriate email conversions. It can be intriguing to take shortcuts because of so many emails. There can be two scenarios – At best, this can lead to typos and forgetting to add attachments. At worst, it can jeopardize working relationships.

A well-curated with proper email etiquette is a powerful tool that can make or break deals, job offers, and organizational communications. Due to covid-19, most of us are working remotely and this makes email more essential than ever. It might be the best time to revise email etiquette and start sending professional emails.

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According to statistics, on average 28% of professionals spend their time on emails, email etiquette rules are neglected in the name of productivity. Despite this, there are rules and tips that every professional should follow, no matter how busy they are. Practicing email etiquette will help you to maintain professionalism, and also improve your communication. But where to start? And what are those rules that you should follow? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about email etiquette. Let’s dive in!

What Is Email Etiquette?


Every communicative situation has a code of etiquette. Everything from not putting elbows on the dinner table or to not speaking to the Queen unless spoken to. Email is no different than these situations. Email etiquette reflects the principles that guide our behavior when sending and receiving emails. 

This code of etiquette involves guidelines concerning suitable language, spelling, grammar, and manners. These etiquettes usually depend on the person you are sending an email to.  Just like every other situation in life, email sticks to the unspoken principles. 

Why Is Email Etiquette Important?


Email etiquette is as important as any other etiquette. Everyone needs to implement email etiquette best practices to streamline work-related interactions and other business communications. Practicing email etiquette has many advantages. Sticking to a standardized, professional email format and style can be a catalyst for major business and workflow transformations.

Helps In Your Career Growth:

Knowing professional email etiquette will help you communicate respectfully with others and succeed in your career. Email etiquette is important because it makes a good impression of you as an employee, employer, or business contact.

Effective Communication:

Many of us are working remotely, face to face meets rarely happen. Effective communication has become hard to achieve. Emails might be the best way to show our work ethic, professionalism, aptitude, and knowledge. When emails are filled with errors, it leaves a bad impression on the receiver. 

Email Etiquette Streamlines Workflows:

Effective communication is crucial when you are working as a team. And poor communication can lead to misinterpretation of the provided information. Following email etiquette rules makes email interactions more direct and pointed. It reduces the chances of miscommunication, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Shows Professionalism:

Adhering to the etiquette will help you establish professionalism, build stronger relationships in the workplace and represent your employer well. It will also make communications more efficient and prevent you and the business from getting into trouble. When you implement an email style guide, it conveys an image of professionalism.

Reduces Risks:

By following email etiquette and encouraging your employees to do so, you reduce the chances of making errors that could result in costly consequences or professional misunderstandings.

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How To Use Proper Email Etiquette For Business Communication?


Straight To The Point Subject Lines:

Make subject lines clear and concise. It will inspire recipients to open your email in their crowded inbox. For example- meeting time changed, or document for review.  

Use Professional Email Address:

If you are sending work-related emails, you should use your company email address. But if you use a personal email account-whether you are self-employed or just like using it occasionally for work-related correspondences–you should be careful when choosing that address. Make sure your email includes your name for transparency. Having a separate, designated work email shows your professionalism.

Concise Content:

Keep your email body brief. It will help recipients to understand the message quickly. If it requires an in-depth conversation, a phone call or face-to-face meetings are always better options. It is important to manage online and offline communications in the modern workplace. 

Be Responsible With The Content:

There is one thing that you should keep in mind that nothing is confidential in email. It will be better not to send sensitive information, which could get you into trouble. Small mistakes could incur costly financial or legal implications. 

Use Classic Styling:

You should use a classic font in business-related emails, and the copy should be easy to understand. Avoid using abbreviations like FYI in work-related emails. You can use emojis, exclamation marks, or abbreviations while sending mails to someone you know very well.

Be Culturally Conscious:

It is crucial to be aware of someone’s culture or linguistic backing while sending them emails. The right tone will depend on the person. Use humor and sarcasm cautiously, and try to keep your tone informative. Answer according to their tone and avoid local colloquialisms. 

Appropriate Greetings:

Using the appropriate greeting shows respect. In a professional email, you can use greetings like hello, good afternoon, or dear. You could also add an email signature block with some additional information about you. 

Always add a formal salutation and an introduction if you are writing to someone you don’t know so well.

Do Proofread Your Message:

Most people check emails on their phones. It is easy and efficient responding to emails from your phone. But there are also chanc3es of errors. Before pressing send, review your content for mistakes or missing details and check that you’re sending your email to the correct person. 

Don’t Assume That Recipient Knows What You Are Talking About:

Even if you are responding to a chain of emails, always give context. It can be frustrating and time-consuming to look back at the chain to brush up on the context. Your recipient may be receiving many emails a day and likely they won’t remember the whole context.

Don’t Use Humor:

Humor does not translate well via email. What you think is funny has a good chance of being misinterpreted by the recipient. There are also chances that it can be taken as sarcasm. When in doubt, try to avoid using humor in business communications.

Consider The Purpose Of Your Email:

If your email requires action, make it clear. Letting the recipient know that this mail requires action and when is helpful. Whatever you do, before you click send, visualize what you want to achieve and modify your language as such.

Think before Sending Emojis:

We use emojis every day, it has become a part of our texting habit. 

However, a 2017 study showed that this could make the sender appear inadequate. It depends on the norm in your organization and sector but be careful when and to whom you’re sending emojis.

Don’t Hit Reply To All or CC Everyone:

Before sending mail, check if you are sending the mail to the person you want to communicate with. It is annoying to be copied into every email or to see every response in a chain if it is not relevant to your recipient.

Reply Punctually:

Punctuality is the key in business communication, especially when communicating via email. Always reply within a day (24 hours), even if it is just an acknowledgment. People don’t like to wait and be ignored.

Think About Where Your Email Could End Up:

Never use inappropriate language in a work email. Your email will remain on the server long after you have deleted it. The issue may be resolved, but your email will still be in existence and you would not want to cause offense or get into trouble for something you foolishly wrote without much thought.

Always Spell-Check:

Sending emails filled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors is not professional at all. It makes a bad impression on your colleagues. Take the time to properly review your emails, make sure they make sense and have the right tone before you send the mail.

Also Read:

Best Email Tracking Software And Tool For 2021
10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Email Templates
Best Email Marketing Statistics everyone should know

Wrapping Words:

Ultimately, there are so many ways to write an email and each employee has a different and unique style. It all boils down to context. Who are your employees writing to? How well do they know the recipient? Do they know them in person or just virtually? How will the email be interpreted? And what are they trying to achieve through communication?

A well-crafted email can be a differentiator between successful professional relationships and potential confusion or conflict. You should be able to communicate respectfully to establish trust. Make sure you follow proper etiquette for email communication. If you have any queries or suggestions, let me know in the comments below!

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