Do’s & Don’ts Of Email Etiquette

Do’s & Don’ts Of Email Etiquette, email etiquette for business, email etiquette advice and email etiquette tips for students, #emailetiquette, #emailetiquetteprofessionals, #emailetiquettestips, #emailetiquettestudents, #emailetiquettearticles



The do's and don'ts of email etiquette is something that has been on my mind a lot lately…

…oh the things we think about when #adulting… 

Everything from day-to-day emails as well as mistakes made with email lists. I decided I needed to do a quick PSA about email etiquette. It's one of those things that I really struggled to learn as an early twenty-something, and often found myself crying and screaming:


Don't even get me started on the number of times I thought up sleuth-y schemes to break into my bosses office and delete said emails…?. Whether it's because I sounded dumb, forgot something, or wrote something full of typos and emoji's, I've probably made every email mistake in the book!

Do's & Don'ts Of Email Etiquette:

1. Do proofread your email. Please for the love of whatever is holy on this earth! Make sure you're words are spelled correctly (at least mostly: DAMN YOU AUTOCORRECT!), grammar is on point, and that you included whatever you said you would include (always double-check those attachments!).

2. Do be clear, concise, and thorough. Nothing drives me crazier when I get a really generic email that is super vague and results in us having to go back and forth multiple times to get to the damn point! Whether you are emailing a boss, friends, or trying to pitch someone, please think to yourself “Is this the quickest and clearest way I can get my point across and convey all the relevant and necessary information?” If you can't quickly give me a “HELL YES!” then don't hit send!

3. Do make sure you have a signature. I can't even begin to tell you how much it annoys me when  I can't easily stalk you on your social media platforms or find your phone number for a quick question. – Side note: on the flip side of including your number in your signature, please don't be one of those people who asks for a phone number if someone has it in their signature! #SMH – Include your full name, website, relevant social media platforms, phone number, etc. I don't want to waste my precious time stalking this information out, I will do it… but I will be cursing you the time.

4. Do use BCC if you're emailing a bunch of people. Who here loves getting an email with 50 people CC'ed and getting each one of them replying with “cool!”, “got it!”, “thanks!”? Not sure who? I'll tell you: IT'S NO ONE. No one likes their emails clogged with useless or irrelevant emails. So if you are sending a blast out to everyone and they only need to respond to you then please us BCC and leave me and my inbox out of everybody's replies.

5. Do reply with a courteous “received” or “got it”. Just to double back to #4 where I talk about people responding “cool”, “got it”, or “thanks”…. I actually LOVE receiving these emails if I am the one sending the email. In point #4, I hate it when I get those and I'm CC'ed. But people have a lot of issues with email being marked as spam, so please let me know you received my email! Even if you aren't responding in full at the time, just say “Great, thanks!” and I won't keep pestering you.

*Side note: to deal with all those pesky people not confirming receipt, I've started using Mailtrack

6.Don't send stupid chain emails. This isn't AOL in the 90s or early 00's. Read the previous statement in #4: Don't clog people's emails with useless or irrelevant crap. I don't care that your first-born will be taken by the cursed angel demon Damian if you don't send this to five friends, because guess what, if you send me that, we aren't really friends so you already F*'ed yourself!

7. Do check your emotions. This is one of the toughest for me. I get really passionate when I write sometimes, and will actually have entire written arguments… who's with me? I need to pause, take a breath, and check my emotions before sending most emails. When I was in the corporate world especially. I would even send them to my fiancée (screen shotted or copy and pasted into a text, never via company email!) to read it before sending. I wanted to make sure I came off as diplomatic, professional, and polished as possible. The practice of proofreading one another's emails has actually been really insightful in understanding perception. It's taught us both about how people read tones and how to even clean up the email to be clearer and more concise (See #2). Maybe enlist an email buddy or two? Just remember…

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8. Don't send stuff you don't want seen or read via company email! They own that ish! Seriously, your company is probably not reading every email you send, but for safety sake, get into the mindset that they have an elf in the basement reading every email waiting to tattle to master if you mess up (Yeah, I really just used Harry Potter to make a point about email etiquette… #WINNING!)

9. Do use an accurate subject line. If you are pitching someone, make it intriguing so they want to open it. If you're working with someone make sure it's specific to the conversation. It should be memorable, as in “what keywords would I search if I was trying to find this email?”


Good subject line: “NYU Graduate, published author seeking content writer position”

Bad subject line: “Content writer position” (Where's the intrigue? Why should I open this compared to all the others? How can I easily search this compared to all the others?)

Good subject line: “Summary notes from 6/15 Summit discussion”

Bad subject line: “Notes”

10. Do set up a vacation auto-responder. If you are going away for more than two days, please use a vacation notification. Let me know that you won't be responding to my emails, rather than me wondering if they are in spam or you're ignoring me.

Bonus: 11. Do set up an adult email. Alright, this should be obvious, but is probably not a good representation. It's time to use your name as your email.

What are your email pet peeves or email tips? Let me know in the comments!

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Do's & Don'ts of Email Etiquette:

1. Do proofread your email.

2. Do be clear, concise, and thorough.

3. Do make sure you have a signature.

4. Do use BCC if you're emailing a bunch of people.

5. Do reply with a courteous “received” or “got it”.

6.Don't send stupid chain emails.

7. Do check your emotions.

8. Don't send stuff you don't want seen or read via company email!

9. Do use an accurate subject line.

10. Do set up a vacation auto-responder.

11. Do set up an adult email.

Now that you've nailed email etiquette, grab the guide to crafting your perfect 30-second elevator pitch!



97 thoughts on “Do’s & Don’ts Of Email Etiquette”

  1. It is honestly my biggest pet peeve when people don’t proofread their emails, or check their spelling. But mostly trying to read some mumble-jumble someone is trying to say is utterly confusing. Always, always proofread twice!;) Thank you for the great post!

  2. Yes, yes yes yes yes!!!! PS. I hate the “Reply all” feature sometimes. Back when I worked in a HUGE corporation with tons of DL’s, we would get these random emails, most people would delete. And then you’d get these people that would say “Please remove me from this DL.” and it would go on and on and on and on …. lol WORST

  3. Oooh! I remember chain emails. I got my first email address in 1998 and that’s what we all did. Such a funny time hahah! I’m glad those aren’t a thing anymore!

  4. These tips are so great! I especially love the last one. I worked in the Treasurer’s Office for a University and it always made me laugh when we’d see parent emails come in as “yogamom123” or “turtlelova4life”. You have to wonder why sometimes!

  5. You’d be surprised how many people still use an old email address as their “professional” email address, that NEEDS to change!! Also, proofreading your emails is sooo important! You definitely don’t want to send an email with spelling mistakes!

  6. This is a great list! SO many emails I get cc’d on with at least 10 other people and it literally drives me CRAZY! Not sure why no-one uses bcc? Anyways, thanks for sharing these tips!!

  7. I know I have been guilty of this before too, but I cannot stand it when you have no idea if someone received your email or not. It’s like, are they unaware of what’s going on because they never got an email, or are they just unwilling to answer me”. Rude.

  8. Omg these are great! I can handle some proofreading mistakes, but when the WHOLE email is riddled with mistakes it really annoys me lol.

  9. One of my huge pet peeves is when people send 20 emails back and forth instead of just picking up the phone. If we’ve exchanged 5 emails on the same topic and something’s not being communicated correctly, please just pick up the phone! I do this all the time at work and in 99% of the cases, a 5 minute call can clear up everything.

  10. The tip about being concise is so important! I tend to be a little rambly in my emails and generally need to reel it in!

  11. Omg getting CC’d in emails with a ton of responses drives me INSANE! Since I work for my dad (who is NOT tech savvy at all), I get CC’d in literally piece of email he sends, as well as forwarded the responses because “he wants to be sure I got them” lol. So I end up with half a million emails to sort through every day.

  12. YESSSS.
    I learned a lot about email etiquette when I worked for a marketing agency (and was always hyper-paranoid about someone reading people’s TMI emails to me/vise versa).
    These are super great, but I’m honestly so tired of email communications these days! I’m still part of groups that still use the format,
    “Dear _____,
    Blah blah bah…
    And it makes me crazy! Maybe for the first interaction, but after that, you can quit the formality! I know it’s from you, dude, it’s still the same chain of interaction! Haha maybe that’s just me though ?

  13. It’s such a simple thing but something so many of us don’t pay enough attention to. Really useful checklist for sending an email!

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