Following correct and professional email etiquette is important as it not only portrays you as an individual but it also represents the company you are employed by. There is certain protocol that needs to be obliged by in order to maintain professional relationships with other businesses when using email.
The first aspect of an email is the “subject” line; this indicates the nature of the email in one sentence or a few words. To highlight your email to its recipient, it is advised to keep your subject to the point and short, for example: “Job: Legal Advisor 9980” – this subject would immediately indicate that the email is in regards to a position the company is recruiting for. Due to the vast amount of spam emails that are generated, the email would not be missed due to its specific reference number and position title.
The next step is structuring your email body; it has to begin a certain way, introducing the main subject and concluding it in an appropriate manner, such as a professional signature. In order to start your email, individuals must decide upon the correct salutation to the recipient. In the case that you know their name, “Dear Mr. Smith” is simple and effective; however, in the event that you do not know the name or gender of the recipient, the email can begin with “To Whom it May Concern” – this is a vague yet polite way of addressing the individual.
Keeping the main body of the email short and to the point is vital as it is likely that the recipient will skim this email to get to the main point of it. It is advised that you use bullet points and short paragraphs with double spacing to ensure that the reader is not confused by many paragraphs and poor formatting. Depending on your email subject, bullet points are the most effective way of highlighting various options, questions and alternatives. If you have attached documents to your email, it is important to reiterate this to ensure that the reader opens them.
The manner in which you signoff the email should be polite and professional. If the email is requesting information and feedback from the reader, thanking them in advance is a common feature at the end of an email.
The signature at the end is the last part of an email, and typically includes the sender’s name, job title, company and address. This information incorporates the details that a receiver would require in order to reply appropriately to the sender. Keeping the tone of the email professional is vital to ensure that the email is taken seriously and replied to in due time.