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Why etiquette matters when writing professional emails

Based upon studies done over the recent years, approximately 72 percent of Americans use the internet, and of those, about 88 percent of them use email as a means of communication.
A majority of that percentile will use email as a method to communicate through their business relations, so remembering the correct professional email etiquette is something everyone could brush up on.

Professional Emails

It's true that a great deal of individuals know the importance of utilizing certain rules when it comes to composing a business letter, but for some reason, these common rules seem to be forgotten when it comes to writing a professional business email. So, if you happen to be one of those with a brief memory lapse, here a few reminders to help you brush up on your professional email writing skills.

Don't Forget to Mind Your Manners:
The basic rules that you learned while you were growing up are great rules to implement into your professional emails. For example, when addressing someone you should say Sir, Mr. or Mrs., and only address them on a first name basis if you know for sure that is acceptable to do so.

Mind Your Tone Throughout Your Email:
When put into writing, it is often difficult to express the tone that you desire to get across to the reader. Be sure you reread your email before sending it, and that while you're reading it, it is coming across in the way you intend it to.

You want the tone of your professional email to be viewed as respectful and friendly, while at the same time, getting the message across that you are trying to relay.

Be Concise and to the Point:
Try to get the point of your email across to the reader right away in the first or second sentence. But remember not to leave out any important details that need to convey.

Be Professional as you would Face to Face:
Being professional means keeping the same tone as you would if you were writing a business letter. Avoid abbreviations and don't use an email address you use to write to your friends. You know the one that's "sexylexy@hotmail.com". Stick to your work email address for all business correspondence.

Don't forget about Correct Spelling and Proper Grammar:
Your email most likely is equipped with a dictionary or spell check; don't be afraid to use it. It's okay to write a little more informally during some email conversations, but still use correct grammar and punctuation.

Get Permission Before Sending an Attachment:
Because unfortunately computer viruses do exist, a lot of people will not open attachments unless it is from a trusted sender. And even then unfortunately it's possible for masked viruses to get through from someone you seemingly know. To avoid any complications, simply alert or ask the person that you would like to send them an attachment. This way they'll be sure to get it and will appreciate the courtesy.

Fill out the "TO" field Last:
Since mistakes do occur, waiting to fill out the "To" field of your email will prevent you from accidentally sending an incomplete email, or one that you weren't ready to send yet. By filling this out last, it gives you ample time to check and re-check your professional email to make sure that it is exactly how you want it be upon sending.

Plz Refrain Frm Abbrvt
While it may be acceptable to send an email to a friend, or receive an abbreviated email from your 16 year old daughter, I'm sure your coworkers won't appreciate an email written something like this:

"Hi, how r u? what u doin tom? Let me no. thanx!"

For business email, this just doesn't fit. However, common business abbreviations such as FYI, etc, and so on are just fine.

Attachments, I'll say it Again:
You don't open attachments from people you don't know, and neither will someone on the receiving end of your professional emails. To avoid any confusion or missed information, alert the recipient you are sending an attachment ahead of time, or ask their permission. Assuming someone will open an attachment from you because they know you, is not a fair assumption. Not only is this rarely true, it is almost a guaranty that information you have attached will get overlooked and never opened.

Make Your First Impression Count:

Email is a great ice breaker because it isn't as presumptuous as a phone call, and is delivered so much faster than a regular letter. But the same goes for email as would your introduction on the phone or in a business letter. Make sure it is well written and that your point is clear and definitive. Don't overload your professional emails with unnecessary details, just stick to your main goal, and writing professional emails will soon become a piece of cake!

Don't use Text Markup:
Many people like the look of adding in headers via HTML coding, but this isn't always a wise idea. Many email programs will not support HTML, or the person will have to download the image to see it, so virtually it is a waste of time. Save those antics for other things. You don't want the recipient of your wonderful professional email to end up with a mumbo jumbo of unreadable characters. Stick to plain old simple text.

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