9 Email Etiquette Tips Every Professional Should Know

Professional, Polite and Polished

Research has shown that the average U.S. employee spends about a quarter of their time at work combing through the hundreds of emails they send and receive each day.

To put that in numbers, if an employee makes $40,000 a year, $10,000 of their salary is earned by checking and sending emails.

Yet, many people still don’t know how to send a properly formatted email. Since employees are sending and receiving so many messages a day, many professionals end up making embarrassing mistakes that could be detrimental to their professional career and reputation.

To make it easy, I’ve compiled a list of the top 4 things to keep in mind when emailing at work.


Do: When emailing at work, make sure to use your work email address or another professional email address.
While “beerchugger11” or “princess_kitty” might have been cute in high school or college, the professional world won’t think so. I recommend that you use your first name.last [email protected] (or org if your organization is a non-profit).

Don’t: Include abbreviations, text talk or emoticons in your emails.

No matter how laid back the situation is. Spell out each and every word and don’t use words like “gonna” or “wanna.”


Do: Include a clear and direct subject line like “meeting date changed” or “question about presentation.” This helps the receiver decipher which emails are most important in their inbox and what can wait until later. Keep your message short and to the point. And only address ONE ISSUE per email.

Do: Include a greeting and salutation. No matter if it is an internal email to your favorite co-worker or an email to a client, you should always address them in an email as you would in person and sign off at the end.

Do: Check spelling and grammar before you hit send. Wait to enter the email address you are sending to until you have finished typing and checking it over. That way, you don’t accidently hit send with a bunch of mistakes.

Don’t: Send a one word response like “okay” or “thanks.” Give the sender the courtesy of a full sentence.

Don’t:  Use profanity or Not Suitable For Work (NSFW) content in your work emails. If you aren’t comfortable saying it out loud, don’t say it in an email. Most companies keep their emails on a server, so even if you delete the email, it can still be found, if needed.


Don’t: Use all caps or overuse exclamation points. If someone sends you an email that seems harsh or rageful, back away and don’t reply to it for at least 24 hours. It’s hard to judge the tone of a person by reading their words. Call them or request a face-to-face meeting to properly judge their tone of voice. Sending rageful emails back and forth can lead to damaged relationships or being reprimanded by the boss.


Don’t: Reply to or hit the “Reply All” to every email.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need to reply to this email?
  • If yes, do I need to hit “Reply All”?
  • If no, can I just delete or archive this email for documentation purposes?
  • Is this email attacking me, my organization or fellow co-workers?
  • Is there a need for a response right away? (If not, wait at least 24 hours.)

Are You Sending Professional Emails?

SACS Consullting & Investigative Services, Inc. can help train your employees to be true professionals. Call 330-255-1101 to speak with one of our professionals about one of our training today!