E-mail etiquette for small businesses | SupportBiz

Managing Growth

E-mail etiquette for small businesses

If e-mails are used for the right purposes and one adheres to the ground rules of emailing, , the technology can help achieve great results for your business. If e-mailing is abused, it can spell havoc for you. Here are some pointers that one should adhere to, to ensure that good e-mail hygiene is practiced in your organization.

Be crisp and concise

Ensure that you write your e-mails professionally, and that they are concise and to the point. Do not get into unnecessary details in your e-mails. If there are too many points to be discussed, separate them using bullet points or numbers.

Do not attach huge files

Do not attach massive files with your e-mails that prove to be difficult for the respondent to download. Instead, you could use one of the various file transfer tools available on the Internet.

Be formal

Do not get too personal in your business e-mails, but maintain formality. It is good to joke on e-mails once in a while, but try and limit this. Try to avoid using nicknames in your e-mails.

While creating an e-mail account, use your first and last name instead of using a nickname or something quirky. The latter might create a bad impression of the sender in a business setting.

Keep personal e-mails separate

Keep your personal e-mails separate from your business ones. Do not discuss personal jokes, other colleagues, after-office plans, other personal matters, or religious or political views on business e-mails.

Clear subject line

Ensure that your subject line clearly indicates the matter of the e-mail, and makes sense to the reader.

Specify action

Clearly specify in your e-mail what action the receiver is supposed to take. Indicate whether you are expecting an e-mail reply, a phone call, or something else.

Include only necessary people

Resist the temptation to mark everyone in the organization on all of your e-mails. Send your e-mails to only those of your colleagues who need to receive them. Similarly, while responding to your e-mails, do not reply to everyone marked on it, but respond only to the people who need your reply.

Respond on time

Do not let e-mails sit in your inbox forever, but respond to them as soon as possible. Ensure that you respond to e-mails within two working days.

Use out-of-office tools

In case you are going to be out of office for a while, you should use the tools provided by your e-mail system to inform people of the same. Indicate alternatives that people can adopt when you are not available – such as reaching someone else in the organization or calling your personal number.

Use priorities

Mark your e-mails based on the priority they need to be accorded – high, medium or low. This helps readers segregate their e-mails and prepare their work schedule accordingly.

Limit e-mail

There are many organizations which get into the rut of sending out e-mails for everything, and end up wasting too much time on them, ultimately not achieving the requisite business goals. Ensure that you do not fall into this trap. Restrict the number of e-mails that you send out, and send them out only after determining that they are absolutely necessary.

Limit formatting

Avoid the use of extravagant formatting in your e-mails, and ensure that they look formal and business-like. Do not use a variety of fonts or colours, unless absolutely necessary.