Email isn’t dead – in fact, it’s very much alive.
Email is one of the most used tools of communication in the world. This is especially true in the business realm. Of the 144.8 billion emails that are sent worldwide per day, 61 percent (89 billion) of them are for business purposes. Now that you’re in the WebMBA program here at Georgia College, if you didn’t recognize the importance of email before, you will now. On a weekly basis, you’ll be interacting with your classmates and professors, and even turning in your assignments with this decades old, but constantly evolving messaging system.
Since you’ll be using it so frequently now and in the future (when you land the big job of your dreams), it’s extremely vital to know how to handle email in a professional setting. Here are some helpful tips on business email etiquette.
1) Greet the recipient and introduce yourself. While this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how often people send emails without first stating their name or even addressing the person they’re sending the email to. Every proper email starts off with a Dear _____, or Hello ____. We recommend avoiding using “Hey” or “Hi,” as these greetings can come off lax and informal. If you’ve never emailed your recipient before, always include a brief introduction telling him or her who you are.
2) Make your message clear and concise. In business environments, time is very valuable, and chances are, the person you’re emailing doesn’t have a lot of time to read long, wordy emails. Always get to the point quickly and remember that white space is your friend. Huge clusters of text are often hard to read and may cause your point to get lost in the paragraphs. If the topic you’re discussing in email is really extensive or complicated, ask if your recipient is available to talk over the phone or in person.
3) Write an appropriate subject line. About 35 percent of email recipients will open an email solely based on the subject line, so it’s beneficial to have one that relates to the message you’re sending. Keep subject lines short, but informative, and start a new email with a new subject line instead of hitting reply on a previous one if discussing a new topic. Also be careful if you use Gmail as your email provider. This service will sometimes group emails based on the subject line if they’re identical.
4) Your emails are a representation of your true self. If you’re contacting someone for the first time through email and haven’t met previously in person, this will be his or her first impression of you. The connections you make are essential to your future in the business sector. Remember to keep the tone friendly, but professional. The right choice of words can mean the difference between a passing acquaintance or a lasting relationship. Lastly, before you send out your email make triple sure that it’s typo free, as each email you send is a reflection of you and the way you perform as a businessman or business woman.