E-mail etiquette: The dos and don'ts of official email

Vanilla Sharma
Email etiquette

Electronic mail, or more often called email, is one of the most common methods of communication, be it official or personal. While the channel may be fast, convenient and very handy, considering one can send them from a desktop, a tablet or even a cell phone, emails come with their share of rules.

E-mail etiquette might not be the most talked-about practices, but they are definitely one of the most important and necessary things today in terms of communication, especially the official ones. A badly written email not only doesn't serve the purpose, it also turns off the reader.

Here's some etiquette that we wish everyone used in official emails:


Make sure that emails have a good opening and closing greeting so that it does not sound terse. Also words like "please" and "thank you" go a long way.

Professional language

In school we were taught the difference between an official letter and a personal letter. We were taught how to write an official letter – crisp and to the point -- and how it is important to maintain a professional language. The same applies to official emails. SMS language such as 4 u instead of for you and GR8 instead of great are a big NO!

Complete sentences

Few things are as annoying as vague and random sentences in an e-mail. Complete sentences with capitalised letters when needed and proper punctuations not only help in effective communication, it is also pleasant to read. Also, avoid all capital letters as that gives a very rude impression.

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Spell check

Always spell check. Emails with spelling errors not only look sloppy but are also a huge turn-off. Apart from the usual spellings, it is also extremely important to get the person's name and spelling right. You wouldn't want anyone to type your name incorrectly, would you?

Fancy fonts

Avoid using fancy fonts. They are not only difficult to read but also look very informal.

Never-ending threads

These long threads are not only time-consuming to read but also extremely consuming. Having a face to face meeting or talking over the phone is much more convenient. 

While these are a few basic things that make a good and effective communication, we also tell you what you must never send on office email.


Never send animated GIFs on office emails without making sure that the company doesn't have issues with being informal and casual.

Office etiquette

Office gossip

There are many companies that do not let its employees use their personal email IDs, but official emails are really not the place to trade office gossip.

Personal messages and images

You must never send personal messages and images on office emails. Also, avoid sending oh-so-adorable cat and dog pictures and videos.