Dear Sir Or Madam: 10 Rules Of Email Etiquette That Every Professional Should Follow


Dear Sir Or Madam: 10 Rules Of Email Etiquette That Every Professional Should Follow

There’s no way around it: email is officially the correspondence type of choice in the professional world today, and hospitality is no exception. Whether you find it to be a modern-day convenience or an annoying time-suck, whether you’re a Front Office Manager, or you work in Conference Services, one thing is certain: your inbox sees a lot of action every day.

How to be better at email? is here to help. Follow our 10 simple tips to ensure that each email you send is professional, polite, well-written, and (most importantly) efficient.

1. Control your feelings

Are you feeling emotional? Step away from the keyboard. Emails sent while you have rage coursing through your veins are never a good idea. Take a few deep breaths, make some notes, and then go back to the computer with a cool head.

2. Check before you hit send

Always write every email as if your boss (and her boss, etc.) was going to read it. Remember that every email you send can be shared with someone else with the click of a button. Always show your best side in work correspondence, even if you are dying to make a joke or try out a new emoji. Save it for your personal email.

3. Use a greeting and closing each and every time

Whether you want to use “Hi, John,”, “Dear Sue,” or “Greetings, Bill,” is up to you and depends on your relationship with your colleagues, but using a greeting makes your message feel polished, as does closing each time with “Thank you,”, “Kind Regards,” or “Sincerely.”

4. Use the spellcheck

Don’t hit send just yet. Use spellcheck for EVERY email you send. Grammar and spelling mistakes are embarrassing, yet 100 percent avoidable!

5. Use “Reply All” wisely

Only reply to all recipients of an email when all of them need truly to be privy to your response. Likewise, when you use CC or BCC, limit the number of people you copy to those who really need to have the information.

6. Use a meaningful subject line

If something needs immediate action, you may want to consider “For action: subject X” or “Subject X – please action” so that the point of your email is explicit before it is even opened. Subject lines that are vague or sound unprofessional (e.g. “Hi there” or “Lunch ideazzz”) may encourage the recipient to push aside or deprioritize the email. The ultimate no-no? “No Subject.”

7. Go straight to the point

Keep it as short as possible. Your brevity and directness will be appreciated. Use paragraph structure to separate ideas, and keep sentences short. To the reader, the essential reason for your email should be clear. If action is required, be sure to summarize that in a final sentence.

8. Avoid using ALL CAPS

Avoid using ALL CAPS. This gives the impression that you are mad, even if you are just trying to emphasize something. Instead, use bold type.

9. Explain the attachments

If you are attaching something, be sure it meets your organization’s file size limits. Explain what the attachment is in the body of your email. Attach it before composing the email so you don’t have to write another one with a subject line that reads, “Oops.”

10. Reply in time

When you are the recipient of an email, try to respond as quickly as possible, using free moments during the day to do so. It will help you manage your time, and your colleagues will appreciate your responsiveness. Approaching the end of a 12-hour shift knowing you still have 20 emails to send is just depressing, and it makes you extra-vulnerable to the mistakes we’ve just taught you to avoid here!