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Email Etiquette Rules Which Everybody Should Follow

Due to modern world circumstances, online communication, via email mainly, has become not only a part of our personal daily routine, but work life also. That is why in order to avoid this quite an unpleasant experience you have to get acquainted with online communication rules everyone has to stick to nowadays.

Matthew Ellington
Matthew Ellington
October 19, 2021

Due to modern world circumstances, online communication, via email mainly, has become not only a part of our personal daily routine, but work life also. You send a lot of letters to your colleagues, bosses and subordinates every day, maybe without even noticing it at this point. However, as any other kind of communication, online one has its own unspoken rules, which are being overlooked in a number of cases for some reason.

Basically, everyone has at least once failed their letter by making it inappropriate in some way, sometimes even without realizing it. When in some cases it can be okay, for example when you are communicating with people who know you well, it actually can harm your reputation in others eyes. That is why in order to avoid this quite an unpleasant experience you have to get acquainted with online communication rules everyone has to stick to nowadays.


As a rule, companies usually have their work email, that employees use in order to communicate with external sources or other companies. If this is your case, this point is out of question.

However, if your company have not provided you with one, you will have to use your own address, or, more preferably, create a separate one for your work emails only. Here is not a right place to get creative with the username, as remember that this address was made for formal communication. That is why stick to using your real name and surname, rather than any kind of pseudo, as this will straight up create a wrong perception of your level of competency in the eyes of your colleagues.


Even though this aspect is usually being omitted in personal emailing (it is okay there though), it is a must in case of formal work communication. You have to make it clear and understandable for your interlocutor what you will be talking about. You both receive dozens of letters daily, that is why it is necessary to get prepared to the specific topic.

Nevertheless, even though the subject line has to be clear enough, it also needs to be quite short. Basically, you need to simply put down the general topic of your letter, otherwise it will be cut due to program formatting and become unclear. Your message's subject line allows them to indicate what action your message demands.


The beginning of your letter is the third thing your receiver will see in your letter. It directs the conversations, sets its mood and style. Not only it is important to show yourself as the most polite person, it is also important to catch your reader's attention in order to make him proceed with your message. It is vitally important in those cases, when you have some offers for them you are really interested in.

If you're going to use "dear", keep it for formal occasions. When you're composing an email in a professional or business setting, the safest choice is "Hello [name]." However, keep it professional. Right after it, you may include a few sentences about who you are, if you have never communicated with the person before. Do not forget to mention your name, the company you work for, position - this ensures the recipient that you are a real person and not just an automatic spam mailing.


Here is where you basically tell the point of why you are contacting. Even though it is a matter of your subject and what its purpose is, there still are certain general rules you have to stick to.

If you're sending an email, keep it brief and to the point. Avoid using babbling, slang and small talk. If you know a lot about a subject, you don't have to tell the receiver all you know.

Subheadings, paragraph spacing and bullet points can help you break up a large text and make it easier to read and understand your message. Communication of all relevant information should also be done at the outset. Keep in mind that you want to be considerate of the recipient's time, which is why they shouldn't have to ask you to elaborate.

Brevity is a wonderful tool for ensuring efficiency and professionalism, but it should be avoided at all costs, since it may be seen as cold and incomprehensible. Please and thank you are never out of order.


You may be judged by the receiver if you use misspellings and typos. Before sending your message, read it aloud to identify any mistakes. Proofreading programs like as Grammarly can also help you find and fix mistakes. Aside from being courteous, it's also an opportunity to see how your email will be received by someone for the first time and make any necessary changes to make it simpler for them to read and comprehend. Having excellent manners and defending yourself are equally important.

Using email isn't the same as using a mobile phone to text. It's important to use sentence case and punctuation, even when sending a casual email. Having a clean and professional image is a great way to go about it.


Email etiquette dictates that it should be easy to read for the receiver. The way your communication is formatted can have a significant impact on how it is received. To make your material easy to skim and understand, use short paragraphs and bulleted or numbered lists. You sound like you're shouting if you write in all capital letters.

As a result of the difficulty of reading all capitals, your recipients will take longer to read your message. Other situations, such as when you utilize a lot of exclamation marks at the conclusion of your phrase, might be considered unprofessional.

Consider using bold instead of all capitals to highlight a point. Making entire phrases or sentences capitalized might come off as screaming, which isn't conducive to presenting yourself as a serious professional.


Be quite careful with this point. Every human being wants to know whether their communications have been heard. This is a basic human need. Within 24 hours, respond to all emails, even if it's a simple "thank you" and explain that you'll get back to them within a certain timeframe. A simple acknowledgment note, such as "I received your email and will be able to offer you with a more detailed response in a few days," would suffice.

Never ignore the connection between response speed and response duration.

In the event that your message is ignored, sending a follow-up message won't do anything to improve the issue. You should not update on an email within two days, unless it is absolutely necessary for you to do so. No one enjoys receiving a flood of fresh emails. In spite of the fact that there are etiquette guidelines for email contact, everyone has their own style when it comes to dealing with emails. If they don't respond right away, it might be because they have other priorities.


In order to avoid forgetting to submit attachments, upload them first. A smart approach is to include a note in the body of the email pointing out the existence of the attachments. Ask the receiver whether they'd prefer a different mode of distribution if you're sending more than three attachments, or compress your files into a single block. You should downsize your attachments when you can, even if your receiver is well-prepared to deal with a large one. Attachments with smaller file sizes load faster in the body of your email, take up less room in the recipient's inbox, and even transmit faster.


In the case of a delicate issue that demands greater complexity and sensitivity, face-to-face meetings are the best choice. Sending an email when another form of communication might be more appropriate is inefficient and, in some circumstances, rude.

If there is no other means to communicate, then strive to be cautious when communicating. In order to communicate effectively via email with individuals from various cultures, you'll need to change the way you write or read emails.

It is also considered impolite to provide sensitive or confidential information through email if you have not taken necessary measures. When it comes to emails, they're not as private as you'd want them to be. The best way to avoid writing something too personal or sensitive is to write as though more people than the intended recipient would read it.


To sum up all the points made before, you have to treat others as you want yourself to be treated, and this field is not an exception. Email may be a very effective tool, but it can also be a very time-consuming one, as well. If your receiver needs to spend an extra 10 minutes interpreting your meaning or taking action on your email, you've done something wrong, and they're going to be upset with you for it, since many etiquette standards are concerned with reducing wasted time for both senders and recipients. When you're considerate of others' needs, you're less likely to offend or hurt their feelings, and to have yours hurt later, too!

Written by
Matthew Ellington

Matthew Ellington has years of experience working with different types writing. Currently, Matthew Ellington is working at Pro-Papers company, where he writes blog articles about everything. In his free time, he likes roaming the streets of New York with his Olympus taking photos of the best spots in the city

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