7 Tips for Professional Email Etiquette

When speaking with clients it can be tempting to respond with "smileys" or jokes, but there are a few guidelines you should follow to remain professional and respected:

Make it easy to read and understand your message

  • Use complete sentences, not random unfinished thoughts.
  •  Do not use slang, specific terms or acronyms.
  •  Make your message brief and to the point. Concentrate on the subject matter.


2)     Use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation

  •  Use a proper sentence structure in your email messages.
  •  Spell the name of the recipient correctly.
  • Do not type your message in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS - this is considered shouting according to email etiquette rules.
  • Do not type your email in all small case either - this gives the perception of a lack of education.
  • Avoid using informal words.


3)     Use a neutral tone of communication

  • Refrain from becoming informal.
  • Avoid using multiple instances of an exclamation mark (!!!) or a question mark (???).
  • Do not use emoticons in business emails they look unprofessional.
  • Don't use sarcasm or irony; they can be misinterpreted easily.


4)     Be thoughtful and polite

  • Start every email with a greeting.
  • Make sure to use an appropriate salutation. Dear or Hello is  acceptable. Hey/Hiya are considered too informal.
  • Never forget to include a closing phrase at the end of the message, e.g. Regards, or Thank you.
  • Don't hesitate to thank your recipient in case they were of help.
  • Do not forward email messages without your personal comment or a short personal note; otherwise this may sound impolite.


5)     Take advantage of signatures and auto-replies

  • Use an email signature with your contact details. This will give your recipient more options to continue communication.
  • Use the auto-reply feature when on vacation.


6)     Check it twice before you send

  • Check your email before sending to see if you wanted to send an attachment but forgot to include it.
  •  Make sure the Subject field in not empty. The subject line should reflect the main idea of the message.
  • Spell-check your message before sending: a message with typos can be treated as unserious or even be ignored.
  • Before clicking Send, reread your email to make sure it is not emotionally charged or impolite.
  • Respond to emails within 24 hours of a business day


7)     Manage your emails efficiently and respond within 24 hours of a business day