Proper email etiquette
By Sadira Sittampalam Ceylon Today Features
An email is a necessary tool for communication among students and professors, businesses, and clients within organisations, and friends. It is essential to know how to format your email correctly, use the right tone, state your message clearly, and be professional. whether you’re trying to land a new job, secure a business contract or network with a new connection, knowing how to write and send a professional email is a must. Here are some pointers that will help you impress the person on the other end and ensure that you don’t mess up on a big opportunity.
Use a professional email address
You want to make sure the email address you’re sending from is professional. Don’s use the email you created when you were a kid, that has the name of a cartoon character or something silly like that. Rather, use a combination of your first and your last name in your email address.
The subject line is important
The first part to a professional email is a professional but punchy subject line. When it comes to your subject line make sure that it relates directly to the contents of your message but also include something that will quickly grab the attention of your reader. We’re all inundated with a plethora of emails every day so, if you want to make sure that your email gets opened and read you want to include something that is relevant but enticing for your subject line. Remember to keep it short and sweet!
A friendly greeting, or what we call the salutation opens up your email. It gets you started on the right foot; you don’t want to say anything like yo or what’s up. These introductions are great if you are communicating with a personal acquaintance but not with a professional business contact or a professor. Rather, use ‘hello’ or ‘hi’. If you know their name, use it. If you don’t know their name, a simple ‘hello’ will do.
Be clear and concise
Inside the body of your email, state the purpose of your message. Perhaps you’re thanking someone for a recent interaction or maybe you’re reaching out to a new connection for a new opportunity; either way, start the message with the reason why you are writing. From there, go into what you hope to have happen, and how the person on the other end might be able to help you. There’s no need to go into unnecessary detail and ramble. If you have an attachment that you’re sending with the email, make sure you mention that in the message.
Avoid these mistakes
Remember that emails are so easily shareable. It is best if you delivered confidential information in person. If you have to include sensitive content, request the recipient’s permission.
Try to avoid humour, anger, and exclamation marks. Do this for the sake of formality. Don’t include things like LOL, !!!, and emoticons. They are neither professional nor formal.
Stick to standard fonts and styles. Use fonts like Times New Roman or Ariel, which are easy to read. Avoid any forms of calligraphy. Use the standard size 12 font; anything between size 11 and 14 is standard. Please do not include the ‘Sent from my phone’ line.
Grammar And Punctuation
The first impression is the last. Your email says a lot about you to the recipient. Don’t ruin your chances of getting the response you were hoping for because of bad grammar. Practice the proper grammar anytime you communicate in written form (in social media, chat apps, etc.). If you are unsure of the right grammar and spellings, use Grammarly.
Your offer might get rejected simply because of a spelling mistake. Before submitting that email, give it a go over. Proofreading will help eradicate these simple mistakes. Don’t hold back from rereading it twice or thrice.
A conclusion with a call-to-action wraps up your email. End it off with what steps you want the other person to take; perhaps it’s a follow-up meeting or a phone call or even just a reply to the message that you’re sending, be clear about the direction you want them to go from here. Always sign with something like ‘warm regards’, ‘thanks again’ or even ‘best regards’ and then follow that with your name, designation - if any, phone number and email address.