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Best Practices For Business Emails
- Keep the subject line short and sweet.
A clear, concise subject line is more effective than an unnecessarily long one (no one wants to waste time reading it if they don’t have to). Also, no one likes to see “(no subject).” You should also avoid “Hi,” “FYI” and “Touching Base.” Lastly, capital letters are often interpreted as screaming, thus subject lines in all capital letters come across as confrontational to the recipient. You should avoid emailing in all caps (subject line or body), especially if you’ve never met the recipient before.
- Be mindful of who you’re writing to.
Keep your recipient in mind as they may interpret your message differently than you did while writing it. When sending email to people from indirect cultures, it is proper protocol to research country customs to avoid any (potentially offensive) miscommunications. Better to err on the side of caution than have to apologize later.
- Don’t send all recipients the same message.
When sending thank you notes after an interview, avoid sending everyone you spoke with the same message. They may compare notes so instead, each note should be tailored to that person.
- Your work email is NOT your personal email.
Do not use your work email for non-business related messages. Just don’t. Doing so could cost you your job so it’s best to keep these things separate.
- Make sure that attachment is actually attached.
Forgetting to add an attachment can be detrimental for important or time-sensitive matters. Always double-check that you edited your message and that all necessary documents or files are attached.
In relation, try to avoid using your company logo in your signature as these often come across as attachments. As a recipient, it is hard to tell the real attachment from a meaningless graphic.
- Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want the world to know.
Does that sentence have the power to jeopardize or end your career? It might, it might not. It depends on the nature of the content, but when it comes down to it, business is business. Keep it professional so no one has the opportunity to bring to light any unethical or inappropriate messages made by you.