Many emailers do not realize how easy it is to come off as blunt, terse, or demanding. So what happens is you type a couple of words, your thoughts at the moment, and hit send—not thinking how the person on the other side may interpret those comments?
Even though others do not expect you to be “formal” at all times with personal emails, it is essential to make sure that you present yourself with clarity and courtesy. This helps to add certainty and avoid misunderstandings by taking just a few extra steps.
You Control Perception
A simple greeting at the beginning of every email will help set the initial tone. After that, your email takes on a completely different tone by including a Hello, (name) or Hi, (name).
If you think about it, you don’t just pick up the phone and start talking without doing the same. So what would you think of someone who did that?
Of course, phone and email are different communication venues, but why should email disregard common courtesy in light of being “informal”? The last thing you want is to be viewed as pushy or rude.
Being informal is often an excuse for being lazy. Is it not worth the time to ensure that your message is received as intended?
Lack of Effort = Misunderstanding
When you begin an email with a question or demand without a greeting softening or framing your request, the tone will be perceived as bossy, demanding, or easily misunderstood. Have a comment that states a point of view or opinion, and without that oh-so-important greeting, you appear terse.
Every email you send should always begin with a proper greeting fitting the tone you want to relay and appropriate formality based on your relationship with the person you are emailing.
That’s not to say that a greeting is the end all be all. However, when applied to all your communications, email etiquette best practices only positively enhance your communications.
Many folks are surprised at all the little enuances that can impact communicating with the written word. This website covers every angle I’ve witnessed, experienced, and asked about.
Start by checking out the Top 10 most read as of today:
- 101 Email Etiquette Tips (484,268)
- 5 Rules for Forwarding Email (150,309)
- Email Sign-off Considerations Including Examples (127,394)
- What is Expected When You Are Cc’d in an Email? (101,738)
- Email Etiquette Quiz (78,102)
- Do I Have to Reply to Thank You Emails? (74,417)
- 5 Essential Elements of Every Email (52,212)
- How to Ask for a Phone Call in an Email (29,593)
- Email Etiquette Website (26,071)
- List of Email Greetings and Closings? (21,666)
The Effort is Worth It
Are you not making these extra efforts? The negative impact of your requests or comments could cause those you communicate with to cringe when they see your name in their inbox. And wouldn’t that be a shame when you can avoid such a reaction by just taking a few extra thoughtful steps?