Email Etiquette: The 5 Rules You Need to Know Today


As mobile applications such as WhatsApp and iMessage take over our personal lives, we naturally start using memes, acronyms, and emoticons to communicate with friends and family. It’s totally fine sending messages like these to friends and family, but as most know, the workplace is an entirely different story.

Unlike personal emails or instant messaging, when you respond to work emails you’re representing the company you work for. Here we’ll highlight 5 common mistakes people make when sending out business-related emails.

1. Don’t use crayons

Business emails are meant to be simple, clean and to the point. Every once in a while, we come across an email that contains flashing images, text written in more colors than you can find on a rainbow, and the overuse of capital letters.

Stick to black font unless there’s something urgent that requires attention. If that’s the case, a simple hack to get your recipient’s attention is to bold key phrases. Excessive use of CAPS is not recommended. Nobody likes being yelled at, even over email.


Empty Email Subject Line

Notice something missing after “2.”? That’s right, it’s left blank. Rather confusing wouldn’t you say? Leaving subject lines blank in emails is extremely unprofessional, and provides the recipient no point of reference to what’s inside.

Writing a subject line makes it easier for the recipient to search for your emails later, and allows them to quickly glance at their inbox and judge from the subject if it needs their attention right away or not. Plus, if you’re using SaneBox, you can filter emails by subject.

3. Don’t start email wars

Sometimes the daily grind can really take its toll and a great way to release some of that stress is by writing an aggressive email to someone, or replying to one yourself. Colleagues or business associates can be very upfront and rude in emails when behind a computer screen, making you aware of any mistakes made whether they involved you or not.

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Don’t fight fire with fire. Instead, try to remedy the solution or if you cannot, just don’t reply. Every email you send or receive is logged, reply in a negative way or flaming others can be a one-way ticket out of a job. When in doubt, take 10 minutes before sending the email. After you have time to cool off, read it again and see if there’s a better way to approach the situation.

4. Hello, is it me your looking for?

When in a rush, you may forget to start your emails off with a “Good morning” or a simple “Hey.” Common courtesy goes a long way in creating strong business relationships and being friendly to people you’ve never met. Start every email you send with a polite greeting and end it with a simple salutation, such as “Thank you” or “Regards.”

5. Use proper grammar

If your emails don’t contain proper spelling, grammar and punctuation it will be hard for the recipient to take you seriously. Not only does it make you look totally unprofessional, but it’s often enough to turn clients away from doing business with you. Re-read all your emails before you click the send button. If you catch a mistake but you’ve already sent it, use Gmail’s undo send feature or send a brief follow-up to note the error (if it’s glaring enough).

You’ll never meet many of the people you email and, as a result, your emails become their only reference point in deciding if they want to do business with you. Well-written emails are an absolute must for business today.

Who are we?

SaneBox is an all-in-one email management solution that organizes your inbox, giving you the time to focus on important work instead of drowning in non-urgent emails. Join today for automated email filtering, one-click unsubscribe, follow-up reminders, and much more.

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