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Many of you know that my focus is business communication.  However, you may not realize that as part of my attention to business communication, I always address written as well as verbal communication. A large aspect of written communication is sending emails…however, there is clearly a way to improve emails in order to get the best results. That will be the focus of this post.

When one addresses improving business communication, that includes etiquette. Please consider the following email etiquette guidelines whether you need them now or in the future.

  1. Best time to send: In the U.S., open rates rise between 9-10 a.m. and usually peak between 1-2 p.m. Conversely, open rates often drop between 5-6 p.m.
  2. Best day to send: Thursday gets a strong rating whereas Saturday/Sunday gets a significantly lower rating.
  3. Commonly Used Device: 75% of emails in U.S. are opened on a smart phone.  Therefore, for many users this is the device of choice.
  4. Cultural Differences: Factor this in when developing your emails as there are differences which may be significant, when it comes to business communication.
  5. Subject Line: Be brief, descriptive, and action oriented. We never know how many emails a recipient receives, and we don’t want to run the risk of ours falling to the bottom of the pile and potentially not being opened.
  6. Professional Email Address: Receivers like to know who is contacting them and using a professional email address improves credibility.
  7. Reply All: Use this quite sparingly so as not to annoy receivers who may not need to know this information and don’t wish to have their email bogged down.
  8. Professional Greeting: Use a greeting that demonstrates knowing your target audience. Casual greetings do not always apply and should be reserved for friends or people you know very well.
  9. Exclamation Points: This form of punctuation should not be overused as it dilutes the message, thereby reducing effectiveness.
  10. Humor: Can easily be misunderstood or may be confusing to readers; therefore, it is best to avoid it.
  11. Reply: Some of us are so busy that we simply don’t get to all emails that are received. It’s considered far better form to let the sender know that an email was received and that a response, although delayed, will be sent. Then I recommend that you flag or note it in some way so that you do return the response in a timely manner.

These eleven guidelines are a good place to start.  Next week I’ll offer another eleven guidelines on email etiquette to know and abide.  If you have any thoughts or questions on this topic, I’ll do my best to assist you.

Please either call 518-664-6004 or email [email protected] 

Can’t wait to hear from you.