Email Etiquette Part 2: Email Body and Beyond

Author: Deekshitha Bala

Email Etiquette Part 2: Email Body and Beyond

In my previous blog, Email Etiquette: It's Time We Stopped Writing Shoddy Emails, I started to talk about the basic email ethics and how to start writing the body content. This one's a continuation of the previous blog where I'm talking about the middle and the end.

The Middle

1. Content

  • Always ensure that your email is free of any grammatical errors and misspellings. Do yourself a favour and get Grammarly - a free app that takes care of basic grammar, punctuation, and spelling, it’s like having your own personal editor fixing things along the way. The best part-you can choose between British and American spelling.
  • Avoid the usage of emojis (yup, they’re definitely tempting) when it comes to any form of professional communication. When it comes to your chad-bud, it’s an entirely different matter ;) (see what I did there).
  • Stick to sentence case as the norm – over capitalizing often makes the recipient feel like you’re screaming or yelling at them.
  • Know your basics well:

it’s vs its

they’re vs their
your vs you’re
affect vs effect

2. Formatting

  • Try sticking to the standard font and standard size. Avoid switching fonts and sizes in the breadth of the same email.
  • As a thumb rule – always stick to BLACK.
  • In the case of copy-pasting, make sure that you select the pasted snippet and clear formatting. < INSERT IMAGE OF KEY> Otherwise, it will appear different when you send the email.

3. Capturing the Tone

It is incredibly challenging to set the ideal tone for an email. Your best bet, follow the footsteps of the sender and work along the same lines. If the sender believes in descriptive, emotive messages, go ahead and do the same. If the sender writes short, clipped messages, follow her lead. This way, there is no danger of offending or insulting the other person.

The End

1. Signing Off

Choose the phrase that best suits the tone and content of your email. If it is a feedback email to one of your juniors praising her excellent work, “Warmly” or “Cheers” works well. If it is an email requesting feedback from a superior, “Thanks for your time” or simply “Thank You” works well. My personal favourite – “Best” suits every and all situations.

2. Email Signatures

Pick one that is representative, classy and brief. There is no need to include all of your social networking profiles, address and multiple contact numbers. Your name, designation and workplace, and email id will more than suffice.

3. When to Reply

  • Boss: Within 24 hours.
  • Team members: Within 24 hours, they rely on your judgment and decisions.
  • Co-workers: Within the following week.


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