NML Communication Etiquette

Email Communication

Email Do's:

When forging new business relationships and solidifying established partnerships, the level of professionalism and courtesy you relay in your business e-mail communications will always gain clients over the competitions that may be anemic, uninformed, or just plain lazy in this area. When it comes to business, regardless of the mode of communication used, professionalism and courtesy never go out of style.

Subject Field:
Often people look towards the field to prioritize their e-mails. This can determine whether or not your email will be opened. If this is the initial contact, be sure to have a short subject that indicates clearly what the topic is about, Typos, all caps or all small cases can lend to the impression. Only honest, concise, and clear subject field will do,

Level of Formality:
This is like your Business E-mail wardrobe. Informality in the business email is like wearing a wrinkled suit. When emailing a client, if you are too informal ( not addressing with respect, using proper grammar, sentence structure, spell check, etc) your mail may or be taken seriously.

Suggest using the highest level of courtesy.  Hello Mr. Ms. Dr.  First Name, Last Name. etc until your contact suggests otherwise “Call me Andy “or You will also be able to pick up clues on when you can address have a more relaxed tone by how contacts approach you as well as how they sign off. If you are already on a first name basis then continue however for the initial contact refrain from addressing them by their first names. “Hey,” “Yo,” or “Hiya” isn’t professional, no matter how well you know the recipient. Use “Hi” or “Hello” instead. To be more formal, use “Dear (insert name).” Using the person’s name in the salutation -- “Hello Robert” -- is quite appropriate

To, From, CC, BCC, RR, Subject:
Only use this when it is important for those to know the contents of the email. Overuse can cause your emails to be ignored. Don’t use Return Receipt ( RR) on every single mail. Doing so is viewed as intrusive, annoying, and can be declined by the other side anyway.

FROM field:
Make sure your name is displayed properly in the FROM field. Never expose your friends' or contacts' email addresses to strangers by listing them all in the TO field. Use BCC

Refrain from using any formatting in your day-to-day business e-mail communications unless you would type something in bold crimson on a business letterhead, don’t do it when e-mailing. With all the spam filtering going on today, the more formatting or embedded images the higher the chance that your mail could be blocked. Also, keep in mind, the recipient may not have their e-mail program configured in such a way as to display your formatting the way it appears on our system.

Email Attachments:
When sending large attachments always “zip “or compress them before sending.  Never open an attachment from someone you don’t know.  Use PDF when possible.

Respond Promptly:
You should your best to respond to your business combinations as quickly as possible. Even if the response is received ad I will revert back to you shortly to give confirmation of the email. This issue should not be underestimated and by not responding timeously you appear unorganized or uncaring. Always have an out-of-office reply if you should be away for longer than usual periods of time.

Nonverbal communication:
Communication is both verbal and nonverbal. Take note of the emotion/tone you are conveying within the mail before you press send. The feeling the recipient has after receiving your mail is often a lasting impression. Please and thank you can go a long way. Don’t be too short or abrupt but also don’t get “wishy-washy “either. Say what is necessary in the most polite way possible.

Proofread your message, ALWAYS.
Don't be surprised if you're judged by the way you compose an email. For example, if your email is littered with misspelled words and grammatical errors, you may be perceived as sloppy, careless, or even uneducated. Check your spelling, grammar, and message before hitting “send.”

Email Don'ts:

Don't assume the recipient knows what you are talking about.

Create your message as a stand-alone note, even if it is in response to a chain of emails. This means no “one-liners.” Include the subject and any references to previous emails, research, or conversations. It can be frustrating and time-consuming to look back at the chain to brush up on the context. Your recipient may have hundreds of emails coming in each day and likely won’t remember the chain of events leading up to your email.

Don't shoot from the hip.

Never send an angry email, or give a quick, flip response. Give your message some thoughtful consideration before sending it. If you feel angry, put your message into the “drafts” folder, and review it again later when you are calmer and have time to formulate an appropriate response.

Do keep private material confidential.

It is far too easy to share emails, even inadvertently. If you have to share highly personal or confidential information, do so in person or over the phone. Ask permission before posting sensitive material either in the body of the email or in an attachment.

Don't! overuse exclamation points.

Exclamation points and other indications of excitement such as emoticons, abbreviations like LOL, and all CAPITALS do not translate well in business communications. Leave them off unless you know the recipient extremely well. It’s also not professional to use a string of exclamation points!!!!!

Avoid using shortcuts to real words, emoticons, jargon, or slang. 

Words from grown, business people using shortcuts such as "4 u" (instead of "for you"), "Gr8" (for great) in the business-related e-mail are not acceptable. If you wouldn't put a smiley face or emoticon on your business correspondence, you shouldn't put it in an e-mail message. Any of the above has the potential to make you look less than professional