E-mail has become one of the best and fastest means of formal communication. It allows you to create the right impression in your professional life if used correctly. Whether you use the medium to communicate with your business associates, clients, or superiors, striking the right balance between competent and approachable is of utmost importance.

Most written communication is susceptible to careless mistakes, and e-mails are no exception. One little error and weeks of hard work can blow up in your face. The last thing you’d want is for your recipient to lose confidence in your ability to deliver.

Here are 6 e-mail mistakes you should steer clear of in order to maintain a professional stance.


1. Leaving out the salutation or the complimentary close

Sending an e-mail without a greeting could make you seem uninterested and unfriendly. Even if you are pressed for time, make it a point to add in a “Dear” or “Hello” before you get to the main purpose of the message.

Failing to sign off appropriately could also be perceived as impolite. Let your personality shine; include phrases like “warm regards” or “many thanks,” to your valediction and watch your business relationships flourish.


2. Using vague subject lines

 Did you know that a large percentage of e-mail applications screen only the first 50 characters of a subject line? This means that writing vague or lengthy subject lines could possibly have your e-mail marked as spam. Gather your thoughts and put them into a lucid phrase that best highlights the purpose of your message. Your reader will appreciate your focused thinking and respond positively.


3. Writing lengthy e-mails

Remember that long messages via e-mail will most likely be ignored. If possible, try to slash the humongous word count and express your ideas in a crisp manner. If it is a complex idea that you wish to communicate, refrain from sending a lengthy e-mail; simply make a phone call or send  an attachment with the main idea introduced in your e-mail.


4. Sending an incomplete e-mail

Many people are left red-faced after accidentally sending a half-composed or roughly drafted mail. This could rub off wrongly on your image, causing you to be perceived as unprofessional. A clever way to avoid this is by adding the recipients only after you know that the e-mail is good to go.


5. Not proofreading

Grammatical errors or typos are enough to make your credibility plummet. Scan the final draft of your e-mail and click the ‘send’ button only once you’re absolutely sure that it’s error-free.


6. Forgetting to attach a file

You’ve probably send an e-mail containing “PFA” at least once without attaching the file. This is an embarrassing situation that can be avoided by practicing some extra caution. First, attach the document and double-check to ensure that it is the right version. Only then get down to writing your message.


All these tips lead to one important lesson: don’t be hasty. By spending a few extra minutes, you can send flawless e-mails and avoid embarrassment.


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