Online communication is one of the most utilized forms of communication. Especially emailing in business. In this case, you want to ensure that you’re communicating in a professional, and appropriate manner. Sending emails with grammatical/spelling errors, or using the wrong tone; are errors that can be avoided. We’ve put together an email etiquette guide to make your emailing – as professional as they come.

Use a Clear Subject Line

When you’re sending a professional email – ensure that the subject line summarizes what the email is regarding. Keep it short, concise and relevant. Not only will this give the receiver a quick understanding of what the email is regarding, but it will also make for easier searches in the future. For example, if you are emailing about “Smith’s Email Marketing Project” and you include this in the subject – when you’re looking for the email in later dates you can simply search “Smith’s Email Marketing Project” and easily find the email in your inbox.

Check Punctuation, Spelling, and Grammar

This may be the most obvious, but be sure to check your punctuation, spelling, and grammar. And we mean thoroughly check. Use spellcheck when possible, and utilize grammar assistance like Grammarly to ensure you are using the proper word forms, etc. Including ending every sentence with punctuation. In the same idea, do not overuse punctuation either. Too many question marks or exclamation points can be overwhelming. So be sure to utilize these when needed.

Be Aware of Names, too

One of the easiest mistakes to avoid is sending an email spelling a name incorrectly. Especially when their name appears in more than one place in an email. Typically, a person’s name is listed on their contact information, oftentimes in the email address itself, and in the email signature. So, if you are questioning the spelling of someone’s name spelling – double-check – more than once. If in the rare case that their name is not listed anywhere, check their company website, LinkedIn, or Google to confirm.

Be Conscious of Your Greeting/Closing

This one can be overlooked if you’re unaware of the way your tone is being expressed. Reread your email and determine the way in which your tone is being presented. Is it friendly, matter-of-fact, blunt, dry, unapproachable? Take some time to assess – before hitting send and adjust accordingly.

Use a Professional Tone

Typing into the next point – be sure to speak in a professional tone. When you’re communicating with a colleague, client, or prospect – emailing with too friendly of a tone may leave a negative impression. Unless you have developed a very close relationship with someone, stick to professional language.

Keep it Simple

Using unique fonts and fun colors may spice up your email inbox, but it can also create some confusion, or make it difficult for the recipient to read your emails. Simple text, black and white, is key.

Acknowledge Attachments

When including an attachment to an email – be sure to acknowledge it in the body of the email. You can say something like “I have attached X for your review” (or however it pertains to the document). This way the attachment is not missed from the recipient and you’ve made them aware that added attachments.

Ensure Timely Responses

When responding to emails, the amount of time you take to respond – is noticed. You don’t have to immediately respond – because for anyone who utilizes emailing for business knows that letting your inbox control your time is unproductive. But taking an extended amount of time to respond to an email that can be quickly addressed – is also not advisable. Here are some pointers on proper response times.

Utilize Out of Office Replies

If you’re in constant communication with clients via email, and people are expecting responses and updates from you – be sure to utilize the out of office reply when you’re going to be unavailable for an extended period of time. Include how long you are unavailable, and a contact for whom they can reach if they need urgent assistance. This will keep them informed on your whereabouts and how to proceed accordingly.

Include Contact Information in Your Signature

One mistake you can make when sending professional emails is not providing your contact information. The easiest way to get around making this mistake? Add it in your signature. Your email signature should include your name, the phone number to reach you, a fax number (if applicable), and your position title. This will give the receiver a clear indication of how to contact you at a glance.

Be Aware of What You Put into Writing

Proper email etiquette is knowing what to write in an email, and what not to. Although it’s great to have a paper trail to refer to when topics or dates discussed may be forgotten or unclear – never communicate hostility, or arguments via email. Save those discussions for phone calls or private in-person meetings.

Remove the“Sent from my iPhone” Message

This one is an easy fix. But leaving your “sent from my iPhone” when sending a professional email, is not professional. Even if you *are* sending your email from your phone, type it as you would a normal professional email – checking spelling, grammar, subject, signature, etc.

ULTRA TIP: Add Email Address Last

When you’re compiling an email, be sure to add the email addresses last. Why? Because too easily an email can be sent before it’s finished before it’s proofread, or to the wrong person. So be sure to compose your email first, review it, check for all the above tips – and then add the email addresses in after. If you feel that you’re going to forget – write it down. or create a Word document with the recipients you are sending the email to. This will help prevent any errors or mishaps that could happen.


For additional email etiquette tips, such as being aware that people from other backgrounds and cultures may communicate differently than you, check out this blog- here.