Practice Good Email Etiquette

Small business owners use email daily to communicate with prospects, customers, vendors and others. Email allows us to instantly and seamlessly manage business matters  — until it doesn’t.

Frustration sets in quickly when email fails. For example, a poorly worded or disorganized email message creates confusion and takes multiple follow-up emails and maybe even a phone call to establish clarity. Or an awkwardly worded email might send the wrong message. Another problem nearly everyone has experienced is sending an email and then finding a major typo. An even worse situation is finding we’ve accidentally hit “reply all” when we didn’t mean to.

Business emails demand extra attention. You can avoid the pitfalls of email communication by practicing good email etiquette. The following tips will help ensure your emails always hit their mark.

Make the subject line relevant

Try to summarize your entire email in 8 to 10 words in the subject line.

Be concise

Try to use as few words as possible. If your email must be lengthy, use formatting such as boldface subheads and bullets to break up the text and make it more legible.

Don’t use all CAPS

Use all caps only for emphasis or convey urgency. A lengthy message in all caps can be difficult to read.

Upload a professional signature

Consider your email signature as a marketing opportunity for your business.  It should include your logo, business description or tag line if you have one, and contact information.

Don’t send secure information

Never insert sensitive or private information in emails unless you have an encryption feature.


Before you hit send, be sure to proofread. It can be easier to catch errors if you read it aloud.

Check the distribution list

If you’re responding to a group email, take a moment to consider whether you want to “reply all” or you want to reply to one individual.

Applying these guidelines to every business email you send will save time, demonstrate professionalism and protect your business interests.

YOUR CHALLENGE:  Start the habit of proofreading your emails from the eyes of the recipient.

If you would like to learn more about how this might apply to your business, let’s talk:

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As a Business Coach from Chicago North Shore, I understand that time is your most valuable asset. Now, I can help you recreate your dreams and vision…and accomplish the goals you first set out to achieve with your business. Ultimately, you will experience a better quality of life because of your commitment to invest in yourself with the help of a Business Prophet Coach and personal mentor.