The anatomy of a good email can be complex. With a little practice, however, it’s easy to learn how to write one. But that’s just the first step. Can you send too many emails? Is there a right time to send emails? Should I just pick up the phone? These are the types of questions we don’t necessarily think about but should. Since many of us use email as a our primary form of communication, it’s important that we’re leveraging it in the right way. You can build or break relationships through email. While you might think sending that email isn’t going to do any harm, think about your email etiquette first. Before you hit send, consider these five rules of email everyone should follow:
Don’t send too many.
No one likes to get their inbox bombarded with emails. So don’t be the one that sends too many. You might be tempted to fire off your thoughts in the form of an email the moment it comes to your head but stop yourself. No one appreciates tons of incoherent emails without purpose. Instead, wait until you can get your thoughts together to formulate one cohesive email. Make sure your emails always have a purpose. Otherwise, they’ll just be discarded.
Refrain from emailing outside of business hours.
Even if you are working over the weekend, try to keep your emailing at a minimum. Otherwise, those who are receiving your emails might feel some sense of urgency to work on your request right away. And no one likes like to get an email during non-business hours. You can still write your emails. Just keep it as a draft until Monday morning.
Respond in a timely manner.
Have you ever sent an email and waited days get a response? Or maybe you never even got a response and you have to follow up? When it comes to email, it’s common courtesy to respond in a timely manner. Generally, most emails should be responded to in 24 hours. If you have limited access to your email at any period, set up an automated response.
Keep it professional.
Even though emails can feel casual, you should still keep all your communications via email professional. After all, emails are written records and can never be deleted. You never know when something you say over email can come back to haunt you. If there is something personal that needs to be said, speak to that person face-to-face in private or over the phone.
Read your email before sending.
You can avoid a lot of common email mistakes just by rereading your email. Before you hit send, read it over twice to make sure you have a clear point. Also check for any spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Following these 5 rules of etiquette will help you avoid awkward and sometime embarrassing email scenarios in the future.