Email Etiquette Rules and Guidelines

Email Etiquette Rules and Guidelines

Email Etiquette Rules and Guidelines

Email is a fast and easy way to communicate with friends, family and teachers. However, simple mistakes when writing an email can lead to a communication disaster. Mistakes like an email containing errors will cause the email to be misunderstood while poor subject lines can cause the email to be delivered to the spam folder. Not to mention, as you enter the business world, a sloppy email will make you look unprofessional. There are simple etiquette tips to follow to help you craft a well-structured email to promote proper communication and to ensure the email is delivered to the receiver’s inbox.

Use a Professional Email Address

A professional email address, such as your name, helps the receiver of the email recognize you as the sender, increasing the odds that the email will be opened and not deleted. A simple email address also helps email providers distinguish the email from spam so it’s delivered to the receiver’s inbox and not their spam folder.

Informative Subject Line

Emails need a clear and concise subject line that describes the purpose of the email. When crafting the subject line, keep it short but informative. For example, if you’re emailing your course instructor, include your name, the name of the course and a general idea of what the email is about.

Include a Salutation

Emails must begin with a proper salutation, not just “Hello.” Use a salutation that’s catered to the receiver of the email, but don’t use their first name unless you’re emailing a friend, family member or close associate. Always use their proper title, such as “Mrs. Smith.”

Constructing Your Message

Begin your email by introducing yourself and the purpose of the email. Throughout the email, be polite and keep the message short and to the point. Don’t include any irrelevant information and avoid writing in all capital letters, which will be interpreted as shouting.

Use Proper Grammar and Spelling

Emailing is not like texting or posting to social networks. You must use proper capitalization, grammar, punctuation and spelling. Since the rules of grammar and spelling apply, do not use any abbreviations or texting language. To help catch errors in your email, use spell check and proofread your email prior to sending it.

Include a Closing Statement

Finish your email with a polite closing statement and your name. Your closing statement should be professional, such as “Thank you for your help.” In addition, use a signature that’s appropriate for the relationship you have with the person receiving the email.

Sending Attachments

In today’s world of viruses, malware and spam, people are hesitant to open email attachments. To ensure your attachment isn’t overlooked, mention the attachment in the email and what the attachment contains. Only send relevant attachments, but don’t send overly large files.

Emailing is a common practice used in both personal and professional life. Whether you’re emailing a teacher, sending your resume to a potential employer or contacting a friend, email etiquette is essential to ensure proper communication is maintained. Your email will act as a representation of yourself, so make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.


“How to Use Proper Email Etiquette When Writing to Professor”

“Email Etiquette” Purdue Online Writing Lab