How to Keep Business E-Mails Professional
Although sending e-mails from your business e-mail address may feel informal, you need to keep those business e-mails professional. For the sake of your business, set a few e-mail guidelines:
Unify all company e-mails by use of a common signature. A signature consists of a few lines of text that show up at the end of every e-mail message. Usually it includes the name of the person sending the message, a tag line that tells what your business does, your Web site address, your street address, and your phone number.
Set a tone and style for e-mail messages. Consider e-mail a dressed-down version of your formal correspondence.
E-mail can be more relaxed and more spontaneous, and it can (and should) be more to the point — but it can’t be impolite or unprofessional.
Respond to e-mail within 24 hours. People expect a different level of response to e-mail than to other forms of correspondence. Answer e-mails quickly, even if it’s a one-line note offering a complete answer within a week.
Before you hit the Send button, measure your e-mail policies against these standards:
Keep messages short and use paragraph breaks to avoid the visual dread of a long block of type.
Add punctuation, but use it sparingly. When in doubt, revert to what you learned in English 101.
Keep emoticons out of business correspondence. They’re crudely capable of showing what you mean, but in most cases, they're as appropriate in the business environment as a swimsuit.
Limit abbreviations to those in common use. Stick to widely understood abbreviations such as ASAP, FYI, or OK.
Stick to the basics when you format e-mail. Avoid using stationery, colored background, or unusual type styles.
Use uppercase and lowercase. Typing in all uppercase — using all capital letters — means one thing in cyberspace: You’re screaming.