Email Etiquette

Learn the ways of online communication in the professional world.

Email Etiquette

Avoid Avoidable Mistakes

Sending an email is not the same as sending a text message. Avoid making some of these common email etiquette mistakes and follow the email format outlined in the “Anatomy of an E-mail” article.

Keep Reading to Learn:

  • Understand the purpose and use of online communication
  • Proper grammatical structure
  • Tips on tone and length of the email

Checking it once…Checking it Twice…. 

Even if you’re using your phone to compose your message, chances are it’ll let you know if you’ve spelled something wrong or used bad grammar.  

  • Always re-read your emails to check for content, and grammar mistakes.  
  • Use appropriate punctuation to end your sentences and avoid ellipses (…) or excessive exclamation points!!!! (See what we did there?) 

You need to ensure that your message uses complete sentences and looks professional.  

  • One-line e-mails are a no-no, and so are run-on sentences.  
  • Write carefully and succinctly so you are getting your point across in a way that is easy to understand.  

Good or Bad? 

You might be used to cracking jokes and using emojis and text-speak (we see u!) when you’re talking to friends and family, but when sending professional emails, it’s best to avoid both.  

Always err on the side of caution, because you never know how your jokes or laugh-cry face might be perceived by someone you don’t know. 

Be Polite, and Be Patient

Use a polite tone when writing email messages. If you need something from someone, ask nicely. Never be demanding or expect that you will receive a response immediately. If you’ve sent someone an e-mail in the evening or on a weekend, it may take them longer to respond. E-mails are not texts, and you can anticipate that it will take up to a few days for people to get back to you.  

If you have given someone a reasonable amount of time to respond (3-4 days, not 3-4 hours) and still have not heard from them ppolitely follow up, replying to your original email so that they can see that message as well. 

And P.S. If you want people to respond to you in a timely manner, you should always do the same! 

No Takesie Backsies  

Once an e-mail is sent, it’s sent. It’s now a permanent record that you cannot erase. Think very carefully about the things you say in e-mails, the tone you’re using, and how you may be portraying yourself to others. Some things are best left to conversations instead of text.  

Most of all: if you do not feel that you can be rational or kind when you’re sitting down to compose a message, just don’t do it. 

Next Steps

  • Reference examples in the related resources section
  • Create an account with Grammarly if you need additional assistance