Posted Thursday December 12th, 2013, 11:45 am by Dr Monica Seeley
What does bad email etiquette cost you? This question was prompted by the wonderful story yesterday of a French Café who charge polite customers less for coffee. This generated a request from BBC Radio Solent’s Julian Clegg to talk about whether or not manners maketh man. (Interestingly, a quote from Willian Wykeham Bishop of Winchester around 1366)
Coincidentally, yesterday too I was asked if it was acceptable to reply to an internal email without including a salutation. All Mesmo Consultancy’s research shows that if you add a salutation and a few polite words you are more likely to receive a reply from the other person than an email with just a one line question. For example ‘ Please can you let me have the sales figures. Thanks’ will engage the other person more than the bald statement ‘Let me have the sales figures’.
This is perhaps not surprising in the digital age where physical interactions are on the decline and we come to rely increasingly on digital interaction. How we write emails and social media posts is our ‘e-dress code’. It portrays a picture of you for better or worse.
Email etiquette which Mesmo Consultancy finds conveys a bad image include:
- No salutation and no ‘please’ or ‘thank you’. Both convey an image of arrogance, I am too busy, I am senior to you etc.
- Capitals is like shouting.
- High priority markers and reminder flags built in to an email also convey an image of arrogance and trying to pull rank.
In the lean world of business, we need to draw out the best in the people with whom we work. Displaying arrogance in our emails and social media posts in not an option. Moreover in such a noisy world we also need both to make ourselves stand out and find ways to work with those who prefer ‘Quiet’. Good email etiquette can help. Good email etiquette costs you nothing (well maybe a few seconds more to write the email) but helps you gain friends rather than enemies.
Use our free on-line ‘Email Etiquette’ benchmarking tool to see what image you create and how well you engage through email with others. Still need some help than ask us about how our corporate email etiquette training which has helped others can help you win more business.