With each email you send, you run the risk of not being clearly understood or simply giving less than a positive impression.
When you email, you definitely lose the advantage of body language, eye contact, a smile, or even a firm handshake. The following essential elements can help you minimize any misunderstanding and negative perceptions.
1. The From Field
Here, your real name should be clearly displayed with proper capitalization. For instance, if your name is not properly capitalized, chances are you might be perceived to be a spammer.
2. The Subject Line
The subject line is crucial and in most cases, it helps ensure the email is opened. It is imperative to keep your subject short, 5 to 7 words are appropriate to identify the topic and the context of the email.
3. The Greeting
Start your email with Hello and the name of a recipient. Including the name of your contact, for example, Mrs. Jones vs Mary indicates the formality the email will portray. It is important to let the recipient determine the formality level and then follow their lead rather than taking the liberty of becoming overly informal. Nevertheless, formality is actually another form of being courteous.
4. The Body
Take time to structure and organize your sentences with proper grammar, punctuation and spelling. This is vital. Refrain from typing in all caps or lower case. This is confusing and does not provide simple and easy communication. In fact, this gives a bad impression of either being illiterate or lazy. After you are done writing, go through the whole body to ensure everything is properly written without fragmented sentences.
5. The Closing
There are various types of closing messages you can include in your emails. For instance, Sincerely, Warm regards, Thank you very much for your time, just to name a few. However, it is important to use a closing message that is consistent with the message you are conveying.
In conclusion, always make sure you integrate these five essential elements when writing an email. Email etiquette training is invaluable and is all about communicating with courtesy, knowledge and understanding.
Marcy Breault, "Etiquette Training Guru"