Email Etiquette: Treat Emails Like Phone Calls

Getting your head around email etiquette is easy if you show the same courtesy and respect you would show if you were on the phone with them.

  1. Respond—If the phone rings, you answer it. If someone emails you, answer it
  2. Answer all questions—When you’re talking to someone, you don’t just answer the easy questions and ignore the rest. If you don’t know, say so and promise to get back to them.
  3. Omit body language—People can’t see you smile on the phone. Lose the smiley faces in your writing.
  4. Watch your language—It’s never wise to be vulgar or profane on a business call or in an email.
  5. Act like you’re on speaker phone—When you are on speaker phone, you never know who may overhear you. When you write, you never know who’ll read it.
  6. Use familiar words and phrases—Adjust your terminology to the receiver of your message. The simpler, the better.
  7. Make sure they understand—When you’re talking, the listener can ask questions immediately. In writing, encourage the reader to get back to you with questions.
  8. Use a “call to action”—Before you end the interaction, agree on the next steps.
  9. Get closure—Say, “Thanks,” and move on.

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