Email Etiquette: Do You Offend?


an email written in a formal tone conveys that the sender is "intelligent," "educated," and "authoritative"; an email written in an informal tone conveys that the sender is "young," "funny," and "creative."

~ MarketingProfs

Communicating via email and emailed newsletters is the most efficient and cost-effective way to share your message with your audience. More than 139.4 billion business emails are sent and received every day - taking the time to craft an email or newsletter that speaks to your audience is an important step to get your email opened and read.

Your emails are 100% customizable:

  • You can customize what the email says, the subject line, how long or short the email is, what day of the week and what time of day the email goes out, whether the email is all text or images and videos, what promotions offered, and your call to action.
  • You can send emails individually, or send group emails, using paid or free email and newsletter services.

HOW you talk to your readers in your emails is just as important as what you say - research of 1200 respondents by BuzzStream clearly indicates that age, sex and education determine what voice and tone your readers prefer, and how they respond to your email. Basic business email etiquette helps ensure your message is received the way you intended - and that you don't accidentally offend or alienate your readers.

Tone and voice in email impacts how the writer connects - or doesn't connect - with readers:

Tone is the writer's attitude or emotion: formal, confident, angry, excited, humorous

Voice is the writer's personality or style: vocabulary, phrasing

Business Email Etiquette Facts from BuzzStream

          • 60% --> brevity is preferable
          • 48% --> wordiness is unacceptable
          • 88% --> have rewritten emails to sound more intelligent
          • >50% --> humor is acceptable
          • 25% --> advanced vocabulary is unacceptable
          • 78% --> email etiquette impacts their decision to engage
          • 70% --> excessive punctuation is unacceptable
          • >35 --> want to be perceived as authentic
          • <35 --> want to be perceived as educated
          • 40% --> aged 18 - 24 find slang 'totally unacceptable'

Its not just what you say in emails, its how you say it. Know your audience demographics, and choose the tone and voice for your emails that speak to your audience. Don't just guess: A/B testing your emails is an efficient way to evaluate what tone and voice your audience responds to.

For More Information on Email Communications
BuzzStream: Email Effect - What Your Emails Say About You
MarketingAutomations: What Does Your Email Writing Style Say About You?