Emails are NOT Texts

Know your audience

Jul 9, 2019

Texting has become a convenient mode of communication, both in the personal and business worlds.  And while it does have its place in the business world, there is a growing trend to use “text speak” as the communication format for both text and email.  The two, however, are completely different.  

Email is a reliable form of written communication that is the primary form of communication in the business world. Email is often more desirable than text messages in the corporate environment because it allows the option of sending attachments containing documents, PDFs, and images.  It also leaves a written trail of correspondence that you can use for records or legal purposes.  

While we strive to build personal relationships with our co-workers and clients, we must not forget the rules that accompany any form of business communication. Here are some DOs and DON’Ts of email etiquette.  

DO have a clear subject line.

Most of us have to compete with the hundreds of emails clogging our inbox every day, so the clearer your subject line, the more likely your message will be read. For example, if you’re sending a proposal to someone, be specific and write, “The Fitch Proposal Is Attached.”  

DO communicate message clearly.

Create your message as a stand-alone note, even if it is in response to a chain of emails. This means no “one-liners.” Include the subject and any references to previous emails, research or conversations. It can be frustrating and time-consuming to look back at the chain in an attempt to brush up on the context. Your recipient may have hundreds of emails coming in each day and likely won’t remember the chain of events leading up to your specific response.  

DO include your signature.

Every email should include a signature that tells the recipient who you are and how to contact you. Set it up to automatically appear at the end of each email. Include all of your contact details so the recipient doesn’t have to look up your address, email or phone number.  

DO use a professional greeting

Using “Hey,” “Yo,” or “Sup” is fine for personal texting, but is not appropriate in a professional forum…no matter how well you know the recipient. Use “Hi” or “Hello” instead. To be more formal, use “Dear (insert name).”  

DO use correct spelling & grammar

If your email is littered with misspelled words and grammatical errors, you may be perceived as sloppy, careless, unprofessional or even uneducated. Use the spellcheck feature to check your spelling and grammar, and proofread all content before sending.   

DON’T use text speak

This goes back to writing an effective message in your email.  Using slang, lowercase letters and abbreviations that you would normally use in a text is not appropriate in an email. For example: “NVM i sent it before” is fine in a text (depending on the audience), but not appropriate in a business communication.  Instead, use something similar to, “Sorry, it was sent earlier on 03/18/18.”  

DON’T overuse CAPS and !!!!

Exclamation points and other indications of excitement such as abbreviations like LOL, and all CAPITALS do not translate well in business communications. Leave them off unless you know the recipient extremely well. NO MATTER WHAT YOU TYPE, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE YELLING WHEN YOU USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.  It’s also not professional to use a string of exclamation points!!!!!  

DON’T Use symbols and emojis.

Emojis are a staple in texting, but have no place in a business email. You should be mindful as to when it is appropriate to use emojis. Retain your emotional emojis for more personal interactions. When in doubt, leave them out.  

If you’re not careful, texting gaffes can be embarrassing and can cause confusion and frustration with friends and clients alike. It may take some practice to keep your emails professional and to the point, but you will look more polished and organized in the long run.  

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Celebrating 40 years in staffing excellence! Contact us today


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