Email has become one of the primary means of communication in many aspects of our lives. Whether you’re in the workplace or still in school, it is important to have some basic understanding of email the proper way to use it.
First thing is first: have an appropriate email address. Once you are in high school or college, you should probably move on from your firstname.lastname@example.org email. Okay, that’s a joke, but I think you get the point. You should have an email address that is easy to type (not too many numbers) and somehow related to your name or job. You want people to take you seriously, and having an email address from 5th grade does not help that.
The start of your email varies different depending on the person you are emailing. For a professional or formal email, a good bet is “Dear (whoever).” If you’re emailing a relative or friend you could simply start with a “Hello or Hey.” No matter who you are emailing, I think you should usually have some type of greeting, even if it is just a simple “Hi.”
Use proper spelling and grammar. One of the most underutilized tools when emailing, in my opinion, is spellcheck. Even beyond spellcheck, be sure to scan your email a few times to make sure you didn’t make any grammatical errors that slipped under spellcheck’s radar. If it is a super important email, make sure you read it aloud or have someone proof read, just to ensure you didn’t make any obvious mistakes. Also, know when it is appropriate to use a particular writing style. Obviously slang is acceptable when you’re emailing a friend, but when you’re talking to a professor, it is a different deal entirely.
Have a closing and sign it with your name. If you’re emailing someone close to you, you could end it with a simple “Thanks, (your name),” or a “See ya later.” Whatever you want to say. In a more formal email “Sincerely, (your name)” is usually your best bet. If it’s in the gray area between professional or personal a simple “Best, (your name)” is ordinary fine.
Use an email signature to your advantage. An email signature is kind of a short bio of a person that lets the receiver of the email know the sender is authentic. Typically it includes your full name and contact information including your phone and email address. If you’re in college, it is also a good idea to include your major, graduation year, clubs you hold officer positions in, and any jobs you have at the university. Sometimes you can tailor an email depending on it’s purpose. For example, if your email is blog or social media related, you could include your blog/social media links.
Quick Tips For Emailing:
- Keep it short and sweet & don’t be repetitive
- If you’re adding an attachment, ensure you’ve added it before you hit send
- Wait to type the person’s email in the “to” field until you’re am 100% ready to send, this helps you avoid sending an email before you are finished with it
- Clean out your email regularly
- ALWAYS have an email subject & make it meaningful
- Know the difference between “reply” and “reply all”
- Respond promptly to emails, especially in time sensitive scenarios
- Use CAPS LOCK sparingly (or never)