Digital Charm School: Lesson No. 1 Proper Email Etiquette


By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) In our digital age, many of us are watching personal contact disappear in lieu of some electronic form of connection. The primary problem with digital communication is that too many have a tendency to throw any sense of etiquette out the window when there’s a computer screen in the middle of themselves and a recipient in the digital universe. Everyday, computers, cellphones, e-mail and voicemail make actually seeing another person less necessary. Contacting people when you have the spare time and letting them respond at their convenience is easier in many ways, but also a little tricky when it comes to drafting that business email. To remain professional in tone, in the business world there is a whole other galaxy of digital etiquette that should be abided by in order to deliver clear messages when emailing and more importantly to avoid any communications mishaps. Dian Griesel, a visibility expert, author and president of Dian Griesel International a strategic public relations firm, offers the following email etiquette tips.

1) Begin with a clear, direct subject line: Get your email started on the right foot and make sure your email is clear, direct and enticing. The subject is often the deciding factor as to whether or not the recipient will open your email. To ensure your messages are being opened and read, create a subject line that lets the recipient know what you will be addressing in the email and why they should open it. Use words like “Date Changed”, “ASAP”, or “Quick Question.”

2) Make a professional email address: For work correspondences, use a company email address if you have been provided with one. If you are working from a personal email account, be sure that the email address includes your name somewhere. Recipients are more likely to open and read an email if they are able to figure out who it is coming from based on the email address. It’s time to lose that old AOL email address you created when you were ten. “” may have been cute in elementary school, but does not read ‘professional’ in the workplace.

3) Don’t assume everyone knows everything: This lesson applies to technology and the written message of your email. Even though using a computer and email can seem so common that many of us hardly give it a second thought these days, it’s better to avoid making any assumptions about other’s computer skills. This lesson also applies to any company or industry-specific acronyms. In different fields, certain acronyms or phrases can have very different meanings. Establish what the acronym stands for before using it freely throughout the rest of the email.

4) Use professional salutations and punctuations: When you’re sending a professional email, it is best to use more professional salutations such as “hi” or “hello.” You should avoid using too casual of a tone in emails so you’re taken seriously. Using salutations such as “hey” or “yo” can come across as too laid-back, and should be reserved for those contacts that you know really well and outside of a work setting. Use exclamation points sparingly in your emails. The overuse of exclamation points can come across as immature and overzealous. Just remember to not get carried away when it comes to exclamation points; less is more in a professional email.

5) Use caution when it comes to humor: Making a joke in an email seems innocent enough, but humor can come across very differently when it’s written versus spoken out loud with context and voice inflection. Inserting humor into an email is tricky for this very reason, and can easily be misinterpreted by the recipient. It’s best to leave humor to in-person contact and out of emails unless the recipient is someone you know really well and have that kind of relationship.

6) Take the time to proofread: This may seem like an unnecessary step when email’s are short and concise and we all have autocorrect these days. However, this is also what makes mistakes in emails that much more noticeable. When people take the time o actually open and read your email, they will notice any typos and spelling errors. Take the extra time to review the email before sending; besides, we can’t always rely on autocorrect because it just might swap out one word for a totally different word that is completely out of context.

Email can open all kinds of doors. Make sure someone will want to let you in by treating an email like a professional letter.

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