Email etiquette – the 7 most important tips for professional emails

Apr 30, 2018

What should you pay attention to when writing emails


Over 40 years ago, the first electronic mail was sent. Today we couldn’t imagine out day-to-day lives without it. The email simplifies the way we work and allows us to communicate with colleagues and clients around the world. A complete, structured and polite email is a signifier of professionality and appreciation directed to its recipient. Especially today, when many emails are sent from smartphones, missing salutation and wrong or missing punctuation are a frequent occurrence! We will show you the most important items to regard when writing and sending emails. These little hints will enable you to noticeably improve your written communications.


1. Is this email really necessary?

Before writing an email, you should keep in mind that communication via email should not replace instant messengers such as Skype or WhatsApp. For this reason, you should ask yourself if it wouldn’t be better to discuss this topic in person or via phone. Many issues can be addressed and resolved a lot quicker this way. This way, you will also limit the number of emails that flood your inbox on a daily basis. Your contacts will also appreciate this change in behavior.


2. Choosing the right recipient

The recipient is typically the individual who is to take concrete action. Persons in CC are typically persons, who are integrated into the discussion merely for them to follow its development. When we reply to an email, it is important that we reply to all persons who have interest or are involved in the subject matter. Simply select the option “Reply All” in Outlook in order to address all people in the distribution list of this email. If the further development of this correspondence, the can be removed from the list of recipients after upon consultation.


3. The correct salutation

An email should always begin with a proper salutation – ideally directed at the intended person. If you are unsure to whom you direct your email, simply omitting the salutation is not an option. In this case, it is fine to use the general salutation “Dear Sir or Madam”, or the more intimate “Hello everyone”.


4. A personal touch

Emails typically end with a standard phrase. To add your personal touch to the communication, you could add creative final sentences to your text element library to use when appropriate. For example, such sentences could reflect the time of day or point in the week, such as “I wish you all a successful start of the week!” or on Fridays “Have a good weekend!”. Varying and situational formulation will gain your recipient’s attention and will convey a more personal impression.


5. Appropriate leave taking

Each email should also end with an appropriate salutation. You should generally avoid abbreviations. Especially when sending from a smart phone, you should take care not to automatically send information such as “Sent from my iPhone”. This would otherwise create the impression that this email was merely sent quickly in between meetings and the send did not take the time to make an effort. You can place a fitting salutation directly in your email signature – this way you ensure that you’ll never forget one.


6. A complete signature

An important component of every business email is a correct signature that conform to your company’s corporate design guideline, and – most importantly – to legal regulations. A signature not only contains personal information that help the recipient reach out to you via different platforms, but also a company’s legal information that is statutory. We have developed an add-in that will ensure that each employee always uses the current, most current email signature. More information about empower® mails can be found on our website.

7. Any spelling or grammatical errors?

You should always spell-check your email before sending it. You can also use the automatic spell-check provided by Outlook. How to activate and use this feature is explained in detail in our Office tip.


If you regard all these tips, you will create a great starting point for friendly and mutually appreciative communication.