Email etiquette – why you need it and how to use it

By Justine Clay


I’ll admit that I’m a stickler for good etiquette. So when I receive a poorly crafted email…well it just makes me want to go Emily Post-al.

But why does this bother me so?  Could it be the reserve that we Brits are supposed to possess in spades?   Perhaps, but I think it’s more likely that I believe that good manners, writing and communication skills go a long way and will get you noticed for all the right reasons.

Here are a few simple rules:

1) Be professional.  Don’t be overly familiar with your superiors

2) Craft your email as you would a letter. It should have a beginning, middle and end, and sign off with best wishes or regards.

3) Don’t use emoticons (they’re akin to replacing the dot over your ‘i’ with a heart) or more than one exclamation point per email

4) Re-read and check for tone, grammar and spelling before sending before you hit ‘send’   

5) If you wouldn’t print it, put it in an envelop and mail it on your letterhead, don’t email it.

2 thoughts on “Email etiquette – why you need it and how to use it

  1. I loved reading this. Common courtesy isn't very common is it? I hope my tech savvy colleagues will read this and stop sending e-mails that look like text messages.

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