In 2022, 37% of brands upped their email budgets. Much of this budget went to updating and modernizing email policies.
Are you considering a new policy to govern emails in your workplace? If so, you need to read this guide to email etiquette training for employees.
Why Is Email Etiquette Training for Employees Important?
Whether your employees are emailing each other, your clients, or prospects, email etiquette is crucial for professional communications. Using the proper etiquette can improve your brand's credibility and foster respect in your staff.
But email etiquette does not have to be rocket science. As long as you have a written policy and train employees to follow it, you can harness benefits like better efficiency, less risk, and higher profits.
What should your email etiquette policy include? We explain the most important aspects of any good business email policy next.
The Best Time to Send an Email
Plenty of studies have investigated the best times to send an email. Emails sent on Thursday at 10 am see the highest return on investment. Other good times to send an email are 9 am, 8 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm.
But when are the worst times to send an email? The answer to this question depends on the business and the urgency of your message. However, in general, train your employees to avoid sending emails:
- Outside of business hours
- On holidays
- On weekends
It is also never a good idea to send an email at the end of the work day or work week. Your employees' emails will be buried beneath messages sent by companies that do not follow this rule of thumb.
Pro tip: tell your workers to ensure they note the recipient's time zone. This tip is even more essential if your business deals with out-of-stage or especially international customers.
Email Formatting for Businesses
Entry-level workers and employees with a non-professional background may not know the first thing about formatting an email. Luckily, there are tried-and-true email structures to help them out.
The essential components of any good business email include the following.
The Subject Line
Never leave email subject lines blank. The subject is the first thing recipients see and could make the difference between an email going unread and receiving an instant reply.
The subject line should not be blank, nor should it be lengthy. Keep the message short, sweet, and to the point. At most, it should be 9 words or about 60 characters.
Encourage your workers to put thought into their email subjects. The subject line should get across the email's intent. It should also be eye-catching, particularly if it is a sales or marketing correspondence.
Employees should always include a greeting in their email, even if the recipient is a team member. The more unfamiliar workers are with the recipient, the more formal their greeting should be.
A simple "hey" may be sufficient for employee-to-employee emails. Meanwhile, reaching out to clients or partners may necessitate a more formal salutation. Examples include:
- Hello [Name]
- Dear [Name]
It is polite to include the recipient's name. However, sometimes your employee may not know the name of the person they email. In that case, use a generic greeting like "to whom it may concern."
The Email Body
The body is the place to explain why someone is receiving your worker's email. Again, this explanation should be clear and concise. At the same time, avoid making emails too short, as they can come off as rushed.
If senders must include an attachment, ensure they mention it here. The attachment should always have a descriptive name, too, so that recipients can figure out what the attachment is even if they do not read the entire email.
Pro tip: it is helpful to make emails somewhat skimmable. Bold important phrases and takeaways. Include listed information in bullet points, but do not use bullet points elsewhere as this can look informal.
A call-to-action (CTA) may not be necessary for all emails. Some emails could be informative in nature. But if there are any actions the recipient needs to take to move forward, include this information at the end.
For example, say you need to update a client's contact information in your CRM. In that case, mention what information the client needs to send and by when at the end of the email body.
Pro tip: bold any action items, whether in the CTA or throughout the email body. That way, the email recipient will know exactly what they need to do, even if they do not have time to read the whole message.
Just as every email should have a greeting, they should always include a sign-off, too. And as with salutations, sign-offs vary based on formality. The following are go-to formal business email closings:
- Best Regards or Best Wishes
More informal sign-offs include "cheers" or "best." Or a simple "thank you" will never go out of style. Closings to avoid include "love," "take care," "yours truly," or anything else that sounds like the end of a love letter.
If there is one thing that sets professional emails apart from personal ones, it is the signature. A business signature is integral to any good professional communication and should include:
- The sender's full name
- The sender's professional title
- The sender's contact information
Including a signature is not just a way to provide methods of getting in touch with the sender. You can also promote your brand. Consider including your brand's slogan in your team signature.
How to Proofread Business Emails
Proofreading is the final step for sending out a business email. And it is not optional. Error-riddled bodies or tones that come across wrong can make or break any email.
Here are two tips for more effective email proofreading.
Spelling and Grammar
All business emails should be free of spelling and grammar mistakes. Employees should also read their emails out loud to ensure the message flows and sentences are well-structured.
On the same note, never allow employees to use shorthand or "text spelling" in their emails. Team members may use these devices in informal emails. But never shorten or abbreviate words or phrases in formal communications.
Pro tip: invest in a proofreading product for businesses. That way, employees do not have to spend countless hours proofreading their emails. Instead, they can quickly correct mistakes and get back to work.
Tone and Formality
We have talked about formality a lot so far. In sum, ensure the email's content matches the recipient's status.
When emailing teammates, senders can be more informal and use bullet points, shorthand, emojis, and even humor. Correspondences with CXOs and prestigious clients should be far more formal.
Senders should also consider their tone. The tone should be consistent across all emails, incorporating a humble and friendly voice.
Pro tip: proofreading software can come in handy here again. Many of the leading tools provide feedback on tone and formality. That way, your employees can rest assured that their emails come across the right way.
Email Response Time Etiquette
So far, we have mainly discussed how to write an original email. But what happens when your workers need to reply to an email? Use the same tips above while also emphasizing response time etiquette.
Always respond to emails within 24 hours. Employees should reply within two days at the very latest. Any longer than one to two days is too long to make a sender wait.
Urgent emails require faster attention. Often, senders will include a needed response time. Employees should consider that window and send a reply accordingly.
Policies on Deleting Emails
Every business is different when it comes to managing emails. Some deal with sensitive information that should be deleted as soon as possible. Others live within highly regulated industries, requiring emails to be kept on file for months or even years.
Most businesses fall somewhere in between. If that sounds like your workplace, you may not feel like you need an email deletion policy. Yet, not deleting emails can reduce productivity and efficiency.
A cluttered inbox may work slower than a clean one. Conversely, an employee who constantly deletes important correspondence may need to learn how to archive emails. No matter which works best for your policy, Mailstrom can help.
Too Many Emails? Mailstrom Can Help
Email etiquette training for employees does not have to be challenging when you follow these tips. Knowing the best times to send and respond to emails, proper email structuring and proofreading, and when to delete emails are essential for any good business emailing policy.
Mailstrom is an automated inbox cleanup system. We can help your employees delete unneeded emails now and set up automated sorting for future messages. Learn about our plans and try Mailstrom for free today!