Email Etiquette How to write successful emails. UNH Upward Bound Monday October 11, 2010
What’s the big deal? Email etiquette is important for multiple reasons. To begin with, email use for communicating is as commonplace as picking up a phone. We use it to speak with our families, fellow employees, bosses and professors. We use it to find jobs, internships and even to maintain relationships. It is part of our every day lives; an important part. To use it properly and in the right context is to set you apart from others and help to ensure your future success.
Inappropriate Emails Wally Ford firstname.lastname@example.org Betty Lou Who Leslie Dillinger
Appropriate Emails Tracy Lee Tracy Rollin Littleton -Rollin
Be mindful of your email address email@example.com is fine to use with friends but NOT to staff at high schools, colleges, businesses or any person you do not personally know. Create a new address like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Remember, simple and professional. No numbers, nick names or references to cartoon characters…
Is email appropriate for the occasion? Do not email matters concerning medical issues, your social security number or other identification numbers, credit card numbers, account names and passwords… Some businesses or professors do not check email frequently. Check on a school or business website for an email address or call and ask their preference.
Always include a subject line
Make it short and to the point, ie: “Fee Waiver Question” or “Admissions Requirements”
Greetings Always begin your email with a proper greeting such as Dear Eliza Jones, Ms. Smith or Professor Carter. This establishes the tone of the message and respect for the recipient If emailing a department or office, use “To Whom It May Concern:” as such emails are often read by an office assistant before being forwarded to the appropriate individual. Remember, you are NOT talking to a close friend so something like, “Hey Eliza! I need info on admissions.” is never appropriate or respectful.
Be concise and to the point Write clear, short paragraphs; professionals and academics alike see their email accounts as business. Do not write long emails or otherwise waste the recipient’s time.
Tone Do not be demanding or curt. “I need more information” and “I want a catalogue” should be avoided. Instead you might want to say, “If possible, I would appreciate being sent more information about your college.” Be respectful, friendly and cordial but avoid jokes or witty remarks. Remember, you do not know this person well and such remarks may come off as offensive or inappropriate through email. If you wonder if it is appropriate, it probably isn’t.
Ending your email End your email as you would a letter, ie: Thank you, Sincerely, Best Regards… Include your name and email address: You may want to include a phone number to be reached at as well depending on content of the email. Thank you, Jon Doe firstname.lastname@example.org
Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation Always reread your email a few times to find grammatical and spelling errors Spell Check: All email accounts should come with this feature. Use it! Avoid using all capital letters which may come across as yelling. “How are you?” is much more professional than “HOW ARE YOU?”
Avoid using all lower case letters. This is not proper grammar and will not be taken seriously. It may reflect a lack of education or laziness. Avoid using lots of punctuations such as 3 exclamation points at the end of your sentence. This is not necessary and not appropriate when writing to a professional. Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation cont…
Short hand and abbreviations Do NOT use short hand and abbreviations in your email. Such things as plz, str8 and @ are appropriate for texts and instant messages with friends but never for email. They can seem disrespectful, as though you do not care to whom you are writing.
Smiles and Emoticons ;-) is not appropriate for email. Avoid using all emoticons when writing to a professional.
Double check names Always reread the recipient’s name and title to make sure it is correct. Even a simple mistake as forgetting the “h” at the end of Sarah can seem disrespectful or appear as though not a lot of thought went into composing the email.
Formatting emails Remember, when you bold your words it bolds your statement. Are you sure that is the tone you want to convey? Do NOT use patterned backgrounds as it makes it harder to read the message. Avoid fancy fonts. Standard fonts will be viewed as more professional and are universally found in all email accounts. Avoid using multiple colors in emails.
Replying to emails Reply to emails in a courteous fashion as you would a phone call. Waiting too long to reply may seem rude and disrespectful. Always include the original message at the end of your email for reference.
Waiting for a reply Waiting for a reply? NEVER write a new, angry message in retaliation. Check to see if the response was sent to your spam folder. If not, send another message simply checking in on the first. If you still do not receive a response, try phone or mail as your next options. Angry messages, in any capacity, are to be avoided. Not only will you upset the recipient but, again, the internet and email is not entirely secure and who knows who might end up reading your words.
Emotionally charged emails NEVER send an email when you are upset or angry. Wait until the next day to reread your words and make sure that what you want to say is appropriate and professional. You can NOT retract or “take back” an email you later wish you never sent.
Attachments We have the luxury of being able to send files of almost any size through email. If you want to send a file of a paper, project or admissions requirement for review, first email the individual to let them know you will be sending the file via email to find out if they will accept it. If they will accept it, include in your message with the attached file the name of the attachment and what format it is saved in, ie: JonDoe Admissions Essay in Microsoft Word 2007
Before you click – Reread! Again, reread your message before sending. Make sure you are conveying the message you intended in a respectful and cordial manner. Double check spelling and grammar. * For more information or a copy of this presentation contact Nichole at email@example.com