Email Etiquette: 27 Rules to Ensure Professional Communication in E-commerce

Email is a critical component of ecommerce. Businesses rely on email communication to connect with clients, vendors, suppliers, and other stakeholders. However, if not approached with the proper etiquette, business emails can quickly escalate into unprofessionalism, tarnishing your ecommerce brand. This is why you need to understand and follow the rules of email etiquette.

What is email etiquette?

Email etiquette is the proper way of communicating through emails. This entails an understanding of how to compose professional emails, how to respect the recipient's time, and how to appropriately maintain email threads.

Why is email etiquette important?

Email etiquette is vital in ecommerce for the following reasons:

  • Aids in building and maintaining professional relationships with clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders
  • Helps to avoid misunderstandings or offense due to poorly worded emails
  • Enhances the credibility and professionalism of the ecommerce brand.
  • Boosts response rates and reduces email overload.

Email Etiquette Tips & Examples:

1. Keep your tone professional.

Use formal language and avoid using casual terms like 'hey' and 'hi.'

2. Avoid vague subject lines

The subject line should be clear, specific, and informative to avoid confusion regarding the purpose of the email.

3. Use proper email punctuation.

Use proper punctuations like commas, periods, and question marks to enhance clarity in the email.

4. Practice good grammar

Use correct grammar and spelling in the email to ensure professionalism.

5. Resist emojis in emails.

Emojis and emoticons should not be used in professional emails. They are too informal and can be easily misinterpreted.

6. Keep subject lines descriptive and short.

Subject lines should be brief and straight to the point while communicating the message's purpose.

7. Choose your email salutation carefully.

Use formal salutations like 'Dear,' 'Hello' or 'Hi' to show respect to the recipient.

8. Leave the right impression with your email sign-off.

End the email with sincere gestures of appreciation, like 'Sincerely' or 'Kind Regards'.

9. Triple-check your recipient's name.

Carefully double-check the recipient's name and ensure it's correctly spelled to avoid coming off as careless.

10. Use sentence case.

Capitalize the first letter of the first word in the sentence and proper nouns as it reflects professionalism.

11. Consider your email's tone.

The tone of the email should reflect professionalism and sincerity.

12. Always use standard fonts and formatting.

Use standard fonts, font sizes, and formatting to avoid any interface issues while sending emails.

13. Shorten your URLs.

Use shortened links to improve email readability and avoid broken hyperlinks.

14. Call out attachments.

Inform the recipients that your email includes attachments to prevent confusion and optimize ease of access.

15. Perfect your email signature.

Include only essential and relevant information in your email sign-off, like your name, designation, and contact information.

16. Fill out your email fields properly.

Ensure that the email fields like the To, CC, and BCC are correctly filled in to streamline communication in the email chain.

17. Use Bcc appropriately.

Bcc should be used sparingly and only when necessary, to avoid mistrust and misunderstandings.

18. Use 'Reply all' sparingly.

Reply all should only be used when everyone in the original email thread needs to be included in the response.

19. Think before forwarding.

Before forwarding an email, consider the recipients and the information's relevance.

20. Respond in a timely manner.

Responding to emails within a reasonable time frame shows professionalism and respect for the recipients' time.

21. Set informative out-of-office replies

Set clear and informative out-of-office replies with expected date and alternative contact options.

22. Track email opens and click-through rates.

Use modern email marketing software to track email opens and click-through rates to analyze client behavior.

23. Don't add that 'Sent from my phone' caveat.

Avoid adding the 'Sent from my phone' tag in your signature as it reflects unprofessionalism.

24. Introduce yourself.

When sending an email for the first time, always include an introductory paragraph to introduce yourself and your business.

25. Structure the email properly.

The email should be well-structured with a clear introduction, a detailed body, and a conclusion.

26. Be careful with humor.

Jokes, sarcasm, or tongue-in-cheek comments should be avoided as they can be easily misinterpreted and come off as unprofessional or insensitive.

27. Reply to all your emails.

Reply to all the emails you receive, even the ones addressed to only one person to maintain clarity and transparency in the communication chain.

Email Etiquette and Context

It is important to apply different email etiquette rules depending on the email's objective, recipient, and context. The more formal the email, the stricter the email etiquette, and vice versa. However, whether it's a client, supplier, or colleague, all emails should reflect professionalism and respect for the recipient.