Email has revolutionized communication in the modern business world. According to this infographic created by Domo, Inc., more than 204 million emails are sent every minute. Yet many people don’t treat email with the respect it deserves. Some still use it either as a tool to respond quickly without much prior thought or as an informal form of communication. That may work for friends, but it’s not appropriate in a business atmosphere.

Follow these steps to enhance the professionalism of your emails.

  1. Determine who needs to receive the email and who should be copied. Taking the time to clarify the recipients is vital to not only target the proper audience, but to avoid including those who aren’t really necessary.
  2. When starting your email, make sure the subject line is clear and meaningful. In today’s busy world, some people use the subject line to determine whether to open it now, later or not at all.
  3. Sum up the purpose of the email in the first sentence. Is it:
    • An FYI
    • A call to action
    • A response to a question
    • Seeking others’ opinions
  4. Be specific, concise and stick to one subject per email. And always make sure your email includes both a greeting and a closing.
  5. When composing a lengthy email, use formatting techniques such as paragraphs, bullets, bold type and italics. There is nothing worse than a huge block of grey text, particularly when messages are read on smart phones.
  6. Never fill in the address bar until you’ve written and proofed your email. It can be embarrassing to fill in the recipients’ names only to have the mail accidentally sent before you have completed the writing and editing.
  7. Finally, emotion is not a good thing when it comes to email. Never write or respond to another email when you are angry.  If the communication seems tense or unclear, consider picking up the phone and calling the recipient instead. And never write in all caps. In technology language, all caps symbolize yelling. 

Does your company have other dos and don’ts when it comes to email? Let us know your policies in the comments below, or tweet them to us at #MCGblog.

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