Email Sending Tips

Important Tips for Sending Effective Emails

Email may be a quick way to communicate, but don’t forget your etiquette when sending emails. Make a good impression with these tips.

  • Do not type in all caps.
    Writing in caps makes it seem like you are shouting, and some readers find it more difficult to read. If you want to stress a point, opt for underlining or putting it in bold font.
  • Avoid abbreviations and emoticons.
    Including an abbreviation like "FYI" or "LOL" or an emoticon like ":)" may be okay in an email to a friend, but they are inappropriate in formal emails. You wouldn't include smiley faces in an important letter, so don't put them in your important emails.
  • Always fill in the subject line.
    Your email's subject line is the first impression your recipient has of your email. Make your subject line a clear and meaningful reflection of your email
  • Use a professional format.
    You may think using a coloured or unusual font, or a formatted background design in your emails makes them stand out, but don't use them with official emails. They're not professional and they make your message hard to read.
  • Keep messages brief and to the point.
    Just because your writing is grammatically correct does not mean that it has to be long. Nothing is more frustrating than wading through an e-mail message that is twice as long as necessary. Concentrate on one subject per message whenever possible.
  • Use sentence case.
    USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS LOOKS AS IF YOU'RE SHOUTING. Using all lowercase letters looks lazy. For emphasis, use asterisks or bold formatting to emphasize important words. Do not, however, use a lot of colors or graphics embedded in your message, because not everyone uses an e-mail program that can display them.
  • Use the blind copy and courtesy copy appropriately.
    Don't use BCC to keep others from seeing who you copied; it shows confidence when you directly CC anyone receiving a copy. Do use BCC, however, when sending to a large distribution list, so recipients won't have to see a huge list of names. Be cautious with your use of CC; overuse simply clutters inboxes. Copy only people who are directly involved.
  • Don't use e-mail as an excuse to avoid personal contact.
    Don't forget the value of face-to-face or even voice-to-voice communication. E-mail communication isn't appropriate when sending confusing or emotional messages. Think of the times you've heard someone in the office indignantly say, "Well, I sent you e-mail." If you have a problem with someone, speak with that person directly. Don't use e-mail to avoid an uncomfortable situation or to cover up a mistake.
  • Avoid sarcasm.
    It's difficult to judge tone in an email. Don't use ironic or sarcastic language that may not come across as you intended in writing.
  • Don't use a "cute" email address for important emails.
    An email sent from will come across as unprofessional. Even if you have to create a new email account, use a more business-like address, like, to be taken more seriously.
  • Know when to pick up the phone or schedule a meeting.
    Email is convenient, but it shouldn't completely replace phone calls or meetings. For important or complicated matters, pick up the phone.
  • Use the subject field to indicate content and purpose.
    Don't just say, "Hi!" or "From Sandip." Agree on acronyms to use that quickly identify actions. For example, your team could use to mean "Action Required" or for the Monthly Status Report. It's also a good practice to include the word "Long MSG" in the subject field, if necessary, so that the recipient knows that the message is long and will take time to read.
  • Ask before sending a large attachment.
    Not only do attachments take up a lot of storage space in your recipient's inbox, but many people won't open attachments for fear of viruses. When possible, include all information in the body of your email. If you do need to send an attachment, ask the recipient if it's okay.
  • Remember that e-mail isn't private.
    E-mail is considered company property and can be retrieved, examined. Unless you are using a secure email service, you should assume that the e-mail you send or receive is not secure. Never put in an e-mail message anything that you wouldn't put on a postcard. Remember that e-mail can be forwarded, so unintended audiences may see what you've written. You might also inadvertently send something to the wrong party, so always keep the content professional to avoid embarrassment.
  • Use a signature that includes contact information.
    To ensure that people know who you are, include a signature that has your contact information, including your mailing address, Web site, and phone numbers.
  • Double check before hitting "send".
    It only takes a few minutes to take another careful look at your email before you hit send but it could improve the impression your email makes. Use your computer's spelling and grammar checks, but be aware that these don't catch all mistakes.