With mobile devices becoming the primary devices used for email communication, proper email etiquette and structure has fallen through the cracks and slang and carelessness has become the norm. While emails should be used as a “quick” form of communication, some rules are often neglected. Proper sentence structure may sound overrated, but structure and format help make messages more understandable and readable – not to mention more professional. Here are some tips to help keep your emails clear, effective and polished.

Four Tips for Business Email Etiquette:

1. Use Proper Punctuation, Grammar and Copy

Text lingo is not proper business email etiquetteAfter someone reads your email, do you want their main takeaway to be the core message or the fact that you wrote in fragments and didn’t capitalize your sentences? At minimum, capitalize the first word in every sentence, add a period to the end of a complete thought and avoid using any sort of short-hand slang (i.e. “I will email u the destination pics tmrw. J”) Overtime, relationships with your clients and colleagues may change, allowing tone and formality to change. But until then, avoid informalities in business e-mail communications.

2. Keep it SHORT

No one likes to receive a novel of an email and no one wants to READ a novel of an email. Details are likely to be missed when an email becomes too wordy. It’s easier for emails to become one huge block of text when creating emails on mobile devices. Keep paragraphs to 2-3 sentences with a line of space in between. Use bullet points to help clarify your message and make it easier for the reader to read and separate thoughts.

3. Salutation and Signature

If you haven’t already, set up a salutation and signature for your business email on your phone. “Sent from my iPhone” is not your name or a proper way to end a business email. Your signature should (at minimum) always include a salutation, your name and your phone number. It takes a minute to update and will save your client time from going through their inbox trying to search for your contact information.

4. Proofread!

Always read over your email before sending it. Those who are heavily dependent on spell check should be aware of your cell phone’s inability to find grammatical errors and its notorious act of auto-correcting words that don’t need correcting. Thoroughly re-reading your email will help mold a more effective message and also help prevent errors.

Phoebe Wright

Author Phoebe Wright

Program Manager | Expertise is detailed attention in program execution and corporate communication.

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