A few months ago during a meeting I shared an “email etiquette checklist” with my team. I’ve been composing emails for…well a very long time LOL. That doesn’t make me an expert, that actually probably makes me more prone to making mistakes because I have to send and respond to so many emails a day and then when I get home add all of my blog emails on top of that which I send at all hours of the night. A checklist is a must have for me.
I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received from brands that didn’t use proper punctuations and goodness sometimes even complete sentences. Even worse is when they don’t even spell my name right. I mean I know we are all very busy and I may have been the 100th person the brand emailed that day but a simple “did I spell her name right?” check would have went a long way.
In the corporate world it is equally as important to use a simple checklist and though there are so many reasons why this is important the number one thing I have learned along the way is you never know who your email is going to be forwarded to. I could send a list of action items to the field and somehow that gets circulated and sent to my Senior VP of Operations. Am I nervous that it got sent to her? No. Why? Because my email had a purpose. It was very clear who my email was directed to, it told them exactly what needed to be done, it gave them a deadline and it was professional.
Below I am sharing a very simple checklist on making sure your professionalism shines through in your emails.
Why is email etiquette important?
- It represents your professionalism- your recipient may have never met you in person or spoke to you on the phone. Does your email represent you the way you want it to?
- Being direct (but respectful) gets you the information you need by the timeline you need it by- being direct leaves the recipient with clear direction
- You never know who your email is going to be forwarded to- as I mentioned earlier, you could be sending an email to someone who you feel very comfortable chatting with but if your “hey girlfriend!” email somehow gets forwarded to your SVP, they may not like that
What to check before you hit send?
- Is everything spelled correctly?
- Did you address the proper people?
- Are you clear whether or not action needs to be taken?
- If you are pitching a brand, are you clear on exactly what you project to do for them and exactly what you are asking from them?
- If action needs to be taken, are you clear on what answers you are looking for and did you request a deadline?
- Email To: who you need a response from and CC: those as an FYI
- Did you use all of the proper punctuations?
- Does the subject line of your email reflect the information you are sharing?
- Clean up emails before forwarding them
- If you used acronyms, are they going to be understood by everyone included in the email?
I know we are all very busy so sometimes we respond to emails “on the fly” but it is so important to take a few minutes to ensure we are communicating properly. Your little email might go a long way.
Also, a fun action item I had my team do is quickly pull 2 random emails they sent in the past week and check it against this list. Did it pass? 🙂
Thank you for reading today guys and I hope this checklist helps!