You’ve got mail.
What used to be an easily accessible form of communication has turned into a nuisance. With personal and professional lives that never stop, it’s almost as if the signature AOL slogan is mocking all of us.
According to Expanded Ramblings, the average person receives 121 emails every single day. That means at least 121 notifications every single day. Possibly 121 different people needing something from you. It can be stressful, overwhelming and might make you want to chuck your phone in Manzanita Lake. But even with all the added stress, try not to be a jerk when sending emails.
There’s a certain etiquette which exists when you’re sending an email, whether it’s a personal or professional email, the same etiquette applies. Like anything electronic, it’s easy to misinterpret what the sender is trying to convey. Sarcasm, jokes and threats don’t read well. Tone can be misinterpreted. My sage advice, format your email as academically as possible.
Pretend this is a midterm paper you’re submitting. Take the time to form the email the way you were taught in a third grade computer class and make sure you sound professional.
Start it off by putting a relevant title in the subject line. There’s nothing worse than getting an email and not having a clue what it’s about. Make sure your if you’re sending it to someone who has a lot of email traffic to include your name in the subject line as well.
Fill the email with the facts and if it requires any recollection of a conversation, try to describe the conversation. Try to provide enough context to what you want to talk about, but if you make it too long people will stop reading. Never leave room for any misinformation, and make sure to be polite but firm.
Choosing a perfect closing takes some thought. Warm regards, best wishes and thank you all have their place in the right email. If you’re trying to add a closing directly into your email signature, go for something that is versatile like “Best, [insert your name].” After you pick a closing for your email, you’re not quite done yet.
Some last minute checks need to happen to make sure you’re doing the right and respectful thing. Spell check, make sure it’s appropriate and check for complete sentences. Stick to the facts, don’t try to be funny and for the love of everything, send the email at the proper time.
Your email might be the greatest email of all time but if you send it at 2 a.m. like a college freshman– your email already sucks.
It doesn’t matter if your inspiration for this specific email comes during your late night Netflix binge, that’s why a draft folder was created. Save the email and send it at a proper time.
Along with that, make sure you respond in a timely manner. Even if you’re not prepared to send a full email, make contact with the sender to let them know you received it. If you miss an important email, there’s no one to blame but yourself. If you miss out on an event because you didn’t read and respond– that’s your own fault.
Hopefully if you follow proper email etiquette then emailing will be easy and painless for everyone involved.