With communication practices constantly evolving, and the dos and don’ts for business emails changing, we know it can be confusing to keep up with the email norms used today. That is why CareersInGrocery.com put together this guide to help you stay up-to-date on the right way to email colleagues and customers.

Keep it concise

Emails for business should be short while conveying critical information. Research shows that emails between 50 to 200 words are most effective. Some emails can be shorter or longer but shorter is typically better. People today write and send lots of emails, so cutting out wordiness can help save their time as well as your own.

Side note: Try to avoid statements like “I hope you had a nice weekend” (we are all guilty of this one). Instead, keep it concise and focus on one key point.

Make subject lines short but sweet

Research shows that subject lines with seven or fewer words get opened more. If you need to, make ten words the absolute limit. The subject line should relate specifically to the email. Instead of the title “Checking in”, instead say, “Checking in about [task name].”

Keep your emotions in check

Perhaps you recall something that particularly set you off, and you wanted to send an angry, sarcastic, or passive-aggressive email. It is easy to fire an angry email, but seldom does anything good come from it. Once an email is sent, it cannot be unsent.

It is much better to take a step back and compose yourself. Speak to someone for advice, or sleep on it. Come back refreshed and with a clear mind, prepared to craft a balanced and professional message with no lingering emotions.  Stick to the facts.

Proofread before sending

The occasional spelling or grammar mistake is hard to avoid. Careless mistakes and emails that are filled with errors, however, may come off as unprofessional and can leave a negative impression on the reader. Be sure to scan each email before you send it, especially the longer ones. A second pair of eyes to look over your email might be a good idea too.

Ensure proper email format

Emails for business usually follow this format: a subject line, greeting, body, and signature. This format helps keep emails concise and to the point to save time for everybody. Familiarize yourself with this format and stick to it when writing business emails.

Double-check the recipient’s name

Misspelling someone’s name can start you off on the wrong foot and might be seen as disrespectful or unprofessional. Luckily, the fix is quite easy. Proofread your email and check the person’s email signature or social media to ensure that you have not made any errors.

Rarely use emojis

It is easy to say, “never use emojis,” but it is okay to do so in the right context. You can use emojis in formal business emails, but use the right ones, use them sparingly, and use them with people you know well. If interacting with a new colleague, for example, it is probably best not to use them unless they do first.

Use shorthand sparingly

Writing in shorthand can be fast and efficient – helping you stay sane when your inbox is full. Short responses to communicate your point can save time and make communication smoother. If you do not know if shorthand is appropriate, write out the email in full.

These 8 tips will hopefully help you to follow proper business email etiquette and stay up to date with constantly changing communication methods. Effective communication is among one of the most important aspects of business today, so it is important to stay up to date on current trends and implement best practices. Hopefully, these tips will help get you started.