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Email Etiquette Handout


Why have email rules?

Email is a big part of our organization


communications to reporting Area Managers, to
Partners and internally within the organization. In
fact, sometimes email is the only communication we
may frequently have between you. So, it is essential
to use it appropriately and diligently. Some
employees think corporate email as their own private
email by using unprofessional language, add silly
things, animations, and go crazy with colors.

Some Rules for a good email

Rule 1 Answer swiftly - you receive emails that require quick responses. The
golden rule for email is to reply within 24 hours, and preferably within the same
working day. If your response email is complicated, just send an email confirming
receipt and letting them know that you will get back to them. This will ease the
sender's mind!

Rule 2 Use a meaningful subject line - Try to use a subject that is meaningful
to the recipient as well as yourself. It also makes it easier to search for old emails
when the subject line is relevant and specific to the content of the email.

Rule 3 Dont leave out the message thread Include the original mail in your
reply, in other words click 'Reply', instead of 'New Mail'. We all receive many emails
and we can't remember each individual email. Leaving the thread may take a
fraction longer in download time, but it saves the recipient time looking for the
related emails in their inbox. Remember, emails are not like regular printed
correspondence - the name of the game is to keep it quick and efficient so
include the thread!

Rule 4 Dont abuse the Reply to All Only use Reply to All if you really need
your message to be seen by each person who received the original message.
Sending off irrelevant or unnecessary replies to everyone on the list is just
annoying and confusing. However, if communication is vital between all parties in
an email thread, use the Reply to All to keep everyone in the loop. If you only use
Reply in such a case, the recipient may have to forward your email to everyone
else, which is frustrating and disjointed.
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Rule 5 Read your email before you send it Treat email like any other official
company document. Read it before you send it. Spelling and grammar errors are
just as unfortunate in email as anywhere else in your corporate correspondence.
Look out for potential misunderstandings, the tone, and inappropriate comments;
we use email because it is quick and easy but precisely that quickness may cause
more trouble than you bargained for!

Rule 6 Confidential information email is just too risky a place to include


confidential information. Ask yourself if you would want the content of your email
displayed on a bulletin board. Never make libelous or racially discriminating
comments in emails, even as a joke. Dont use words or phrases that would hurt
the sentiments of any religion.

Rule 7 Abbreviations & emoticons Be careful using email abbreviations such


as BTW (by the way) and LOL (laugh out loud) in business emails. Even today,
some people still don't know what they mean, so it's better to drop them. And
emoticons, such as the smiley :-) don't belong in business email.

Rule 8 Dont attach unnecessary files know whom to send what, e.g.

Communications department doesnt require bills so why sending information


related to finance to communications.

Rule 9 Be concise Do not make an email longer than it needs to be. Email is
harder to read than printed communications. A long email can be very
discouraging and can be abandoned before the recipient gets to your final point all
the way down at the bottom. If it has to be long, consider including a synopsis at
the top of the email. Try to keep your sentences to no more than 15-20 words.

Rule 10 Answer all questions and more - Make sure you answer all the
questions and pre-empt new questions in your reply. If you dont answer all the
questions in the original email, youre wasting your own, and your recipients time.
Worse still, you are leaving someone on the other end frustrated. By answering all
questions and pre-empting further inquiries, you are making a great impression
and reflecting thoughtful working style. For example, provide all the information
needed for developing the story.

Rule 11 Use the proper structure and layout Reading from a screen is more
difficult than reading from paper so the structure and layout is very important for
email messages. Make your paragraphs short and use blank lines between each
paragraph. When making points, number them or separate each point with blank
lines to keep the overview.
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Rule 12 Be careful with formatting Remember that when you use formatting
in your emails, the sender might not be able to view formatting, or might see
different fonts than you had intended. 10% of email recipients cannot read html or
rich text email; they can only receive in plain text. So for them, fonts, colors and
other fancy formatting is lost. When using colors, make sure it is easy to read on
the background color you have selected. Remember, monitors vary in color
presentation so what may look good on your monitor may be unreadable when
displayed on another monitor.

The most Common mistakes in Emails to avoid

Forgetting to Greet
Being too formal.
Being too informal.hey
Forgetting the subject.
Hitting reply all
Forgetting attachments

Essential Elements of Every Email

With every email you have the opportunity to


communicate with clarity. As an email composer you have
to ensure that the intent and tone you wish to relay is
what comes across to those you email.

With every email you also run the risk of being


misunderstood or giving a less than positive impression
by not paying attention to detail. You lose the benefit of
eye-contact, body language, a firm handshake or a smile
with the written word of any kind. By taking the time to
create emails that have these Essential Elements firmly in
place, you ensure your meaning is not detracted from
while minimizing possible negative perceptions and misunderstandings. Every
email you write should have these Essential Elements covered:

1. The Subject Line: A short and well thought out Subject is crucial and in some
cases can help to trace in the inbox easily. Keeping your Subject to 5-7 words
that accurately identify the topic and context of your email is imperative.
Always state the reason for writing in the subject line. Include both the
project code.
2. Salutation: Without a greeting at the beginning of your email you risk being
viewed as bossy or terse. Take the time to include a Hello, or Hi and the
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recipients name. How you type your contacts name (John, Mr. Doe, etc.) is
indicative of the level of formality your email will portray. Be careful to not
take the liberty of being overly informal too quickly. Let the other side dictate
the level of formality and follow their lead. After all, formality is just another
form of courtesy! You can usually get an indication of how those you
communicate with prefer to be addressed by how they sign-off their emails.
e,g. Dear Sir/Maam/First name of the person .
When we dont know the recipient we use colons but when we know them we
use comma.
Dont use to whomsoever concerned
Dear ladies and gentlemen

3. Paragraph

Open with Greeting or pleasantry statement. Main Idea should be in a different


paragraph. Begin by addressing the receiver and follow with a sentence on why
you are writing.

Dear Chris,

I have a question about the email etiquette workshop which was

I am a coordinator from South Zone 2. I would like to schedule a time to meet


you when I visit the head office to clarify my doubts on .

Taking the time to communicate with clarity is time well spent. Complete,
correctly structured and capitalized sentences that reflect proper grammar and
punctuation are crucial to your message. Typing in all lower case or all caps
does not lend to easy communications and gives the impression you are either
lazy or illiterate. Review and spell-check every message before clicking Send.
Read your e-mail out loud to ensure you are relaying the intended tone.

Use complete sentences. Treat e-mail messages as any professional


communication.

Keep messages short.


Write complete sentences using proper punctuation. No SMS language

4. The Closing: Whether it be Thank you for your time!, Sincerely, Look
forward to hearing from you! or Warm regards, use what is consistent with
the tone and objective of your message. By not having a proper closing you
increase the possibility that your email will be perceived as demanding or
curt. Without exception close by including your name to put that final
considerate touch to your emails.
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Make the effort to integrate these four essential elements in every email you
send and you will contribute to the perception that you are tech savvy,
courteous and a pleasure to communicate with. When it comes to email its all
about communicating with knowledge, understanding and courtesy!

Useful phrases

Salutation Dear Mr/Ms Surname


Dear Sir,
Greetings!

Hello .. Hi are very casual


Reason for I am writing to
writing With reference to the telephone conversation on Friday, I
would like to let you know that
I am writing with regard to
I am writing on behalf of
Attaching files I am sending you the Case History as an attachment.
Please find attached
I have forwarded ___________ to you
I am forwarding ____________ to you
Apologizing I would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Please accept my apologies for the delay.
I will make sure that this would not happen again in the
future.
Asking I would be grateful if
questions I wonder if you could
Could you ? Could you tell me something about?
I would particularly like to know
I would be interested in having more details about
Referring to Regarding . Concerning With regard to
their previous
email
Offering help I am glad to inform you that .
Giving Should you need further assistance/information dont
information hesitate to contact me
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If you require any further information, please do not


hesitate to contact me
Complaining I am writing to complain about
You said but in fact what happened
Closing I look forward to hearing from you.
Please contact me if you have any further questions.
Sincerely,
Regards,
Warm wishes,
Yours Truly,
Kind regards,
Many thanks,
Sign off (If Dear surname) Yours sincerely,
(Dear Sir / Madam) Yours faithfully
First name + Surname