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Email at Work: You’re Probably Doing It Wrong – and How to Fix It

Published Jul 1st, 2015 6:15PM EDT
Professional Email Tips Tricks

Email is probably the most annoying thing you have to deal with on a daily basis. Many companies claim they’ve fixed email for you, with Google’s Inbox being one example, and there are ways to destroy email if you take the time. But email is not going anywhere anytime soon, and chances are you’re doing it wrong, especially at work.

Thankfully, there are some simple tricks you can use to significantly improve your email skills for both work-related and personal email.

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Career coach Barbara Pachter wrote a book titled The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet Your Way to Success, and it includes some tips that will prevent you from making many common email mistakes.

First of all, you should use a professional email address for your work-related tasks, one that your company should have provided, rather than a personal one.

Pachter says that you should also remember to add the recipient of your emails right at the end, once you’re done with the text, in order to make sure you sending your note to the right person or people. Also, make sure you double-check that you have the right addresses.

If you have to reply to emails, be sure you use the “reply all” feature only when absolutely necessary. And while you’re at it, Pachter says you should reply to the emails you receive even if they’re not meant to reach your inbox, as senders are waiting for responses – unless they’re spammers trying to sell drugs that can improve your sex life.

Every email should have a clear subject line, so the recipient knows what the mail is about.

You should use professional salutations – Hi or Hello would do the trick instead of Hey – and avoid humor and jokes that might not be very funny in written form, since they lack the right tone and facial expressions.

Other tips include keeping fonts classic rather than using something more colorful, using exclamation points sparingly, and minding your tone.

More details about the tips Business Insider selected from the book are available at this link, while Pachter’s Book can be ordered from Amazon (follow this link).

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.