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10 top tips for small business email etiquette

With an estimated 319.6 billion emails being sent every day in 2021 and this number is believed to continue to rise; it has become critical to send emails which will be opened and read. But what are the top tips for small business etiquette? Let’s look at ten tips.

1. Know your audience

Whether you are writing to a colleague or a new prospect you need to keep in mind the culture and language of the people you are writing to. Ensure you write the email in a common language which every recipient understands and ensure the tone is formal. You can learn more about sending international emails here.

2. Keep it brief

With many people accessing their emails through a mobile device, you need to make sure the email is brief and free of colloquialisms and idiomatic phrases. Clearly state why you writing the email and what action you need from the recipient. For emails which are to keep some people in the loop but they don’t need to action anything you can write “FYI” in the subject heading.

3. Use “out of office”

Going on holiday or attending a conference for a day, put your out-of-office on. This function sends an email to the sender telling them you are out of the office and when they can expect to hear from you and what they can do in case of an emergency. It is important to write a clear and concise out-of-office message so that there are no misunderstandings.

4. Write an excellent subject line

As people may receive an endless amount of emails in their inbox, the subject line may be all they read. Because of this, you must write a concise and informative subject line. Ensure that your subject line gets straight to the main point of the email.

5. Avoid long email chains

If you are writing about a new subject, then you should start a new email chain. Sometimes email chains can become exceedingly long with the back-and-forth conversations that are had and your new query may be lost. Therefore it is important to start a new email for a new subject.

6. Use CC and BCC correctly

CC stands for carbon copy and everyone in the email can see everyone’s email. If this is an internal mail, there should be no issue with everyone seeing everyone else’s email. If however, you are sending the email to a mailing list or internal and external people it may be better to use BCC which stands for blind carbon copy. This will hide the emails in the BCC row.  Another aspect to consider is to mention the additional people you add to an email thread. This will ensure that everyone is kept in the loop on who is in the email chain.

7. Check your attachments

If the attachment you need to send is large, it may be useful to send it through a file-sharing app like Dropbox. Make sure you scan attachments you receive for any viruses that might be on there. If you receive an attachment from an unknown sender, don’t open it. Rather confirm who sent the attachment first before opening it.

8. Apply a standard font

With over 2000 fonts to choose from, it can be tempting to use different fonts in your email to add interest but this could have a negative effect when they don’t appear properly on your receiver’s side. Therefore it is important to use standard fonts in your email like Arial or Times New Roman.

9. Limit emojis

According to a survey done by ResumeLab, only 40% of individuals surveyed considered emails with emojis professional whereas 70% considered no emojis more professional. People may also judge your competency if you use emojis in your work-related communication. Therefore you need to be careful in how and where you use emojis and maybe leave them for your personal emails.

10. Proofread your email

Check your email for grammar and spelling mistakes. You can scan it using Grammarly but be aware that it checks it according to American spelling standards. You should also read through your email again before you send it as spell check doesn’t pick up minor errors of words which sound the same but are spelt differently and mean different things. You should also check your punctuation is correct.

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