Business Email Netiquette

June 12, 2008

It is important to remember that email communication in the business environment should be handled with the same level of professionalism as it would be in person. Adhering to some basic guidelines will ensure your email communications come across as professional and credible. In short, understanding business email netiquette can be good for your career!

Here are Ten Tips for writing professional business email:

1. Avoid using all capitals. Doing this is the same as SHOUTING.

2. Subject. Use a meaningful subject line that provides insight into the purpose of the communication. Never omit a subject line!

3. Salutation. Always use a formal greeting at both the beginning and end of your email such as: Hello, Greetings, Sincerely, Thank You, and Best Regards.

4. Language. Use complete sentences and proper grammar.

5. Content. Your message should be short and to the point. Most importantly, check for typos!

6. Formatting. Keep colors and stylized font to a minimum.

7. Attachments. Be cautious when sending large attachments as they may take a long time to open. For a file over 2MB, it is always good practice to contact the recipient to let them know you are sending a large file.

8. TO, FROM, BCc, Cc. The TO field should have the full, formal name of the recipient. The FROM field should provide your full name. When emailing to a large number of people add the group to the BCc box. This prevents recipients from seeing the e-mail addresses of the other recipients. Use the Cc field for a group of people who do not mind their emails being shared.

9. URL’s. Always use the entire Web address, including the http://. It is also good practice to leave a space between the URL and any other words.

 10. Signature. Always provide a professional “signature”. Signature files should include your title, phone number, and website link.

For further information on writing professional business email see the following resources available in the JWU North Campus Library:

Eats, shoots & leaves : the zero tolerance approach to punctuation / Lynne Truss PE1450 .T75 2004

Email etiquette [videorecording] / produced by Video Education Australasia ; written, produced, and directed by Tom Trikojus TK5105.73 .E42 2000 

 Get to the point : painless advice for writing memos, letters and E-mails your colleagues and clients will understand / Elizabeth Danziger HF5718.3 .D36 2001