Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Consultant -hr

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Hi People, This is Chandana, representing an executive search firm based out of Bangalore.

Thought of sharing this info.Here are some points on email etiquettes.

1) The font of mail should be Verdana and font size should be 9.5 or 10.

2) The mail should have a Pyramid Structure i.e. it should contain:

* Situation: What's the current situation is

* Action items: What you expect from the reader of the mail to-do

* Information: The information you want to give to the reader

* Conclusion: Conclude with a Thank You.

3) For writing use only Black or Blue color. For highlighting purpose make the word bold. Avoid using Red color as Red signifies danger, so use it when urgent.

4) For greetings in mail:

* For Americans: use Hi

* For Europeans: use Hello

* For Asians: use Dear

To be more formal we could use Dear Mr. /Ms. followed by Last name or Full name. We should not use Dear Mr. /Ms. followed by First name alone.

5) We should not put '/' in greetings like Hi X/Y. Instead we should say Hi X and Y.

6) We should not use 'Thanks and Regards'. Instead we should say:

Thank you


<Your name>

7) For requesting something we should not use can, instead we should use could.

8) We should not write 'Please find the attached file' because the reader does not have to find or search for the file in the mail it's already there. So instead we should write 'The file has been attached for your reference'.

9) We should not use sentences like 'As per your mail' because 'per' is used only with units like per Kg etc. Instead we should write 'According to your mail'.

10) We should use parallel structure. Parallelism enables readers to read documents more efficiently. For e.g. The analysis will include planning, organizing, dividing and assessment. Instead assessment we should write Assessing of turnaround functions.

11) In our mails we often write 'Please revert back'. Instead we should only write 'Please revert'.

12) For the Signature in mail, if we are sending to people in our company only then we should not write our company name in the signature because they already know that we are part of the same company but if we are sending mail to an external party like client etc then we should write our company name in the signature because there we have to brand our company name in front of others.

From India, Kochi
Dear Chandana,

Thanks for sending e-mail etiquettes. But I have reservations against few points.

Point No 1: - there is no universal rule on font and its size. At times font size of 9.5 or 10 is very difficult to read. There is nothing wrong in using font size of 12. Secondly, neither is it wrong to use Times New Roman as font. It is a universal font for formal and business communication. For formal communication we should not use funny fonts like Monotype Corsiva etc.

Point No 2: -In some cases sequence of e-mail could be as below:

* Background of the case

* Consequences that arose out of the incident

* Your expectations

* Conclusion

Point No 4: - The rules differ from one company to another. I have exposure of working in MNC that operated in 220 countries. The standard

practice was to use "Dear....."

Point No 6: - Again let me quote example of MNC. Across the board we always used "Thanks & regards," If we did not use this expression, it

was considered rude behaviour.

Point No 7: - suppose you want some information from your colleague. What sounds better?

"Can you please forward the file to me?" OR

"could you please forward the file to me?"

It depends on situation. While asking permission, could is used in more formal situations or when we are not sure if the permission will granted.

Secondly, we use can you/could you to make requests. Can is informal while could is more formal and polite.

Above all while writing the e-mail first you should ask question to yourself - why am I writing this e-mail? Is it to inform? to clarify? to instruct? to inspire? to appreciate? to rebuke?

The purpose brings clarity in your communication.


Dinesh V Divekar

Soft Skill & Behavioural Trainer

From India, Bangalore
Dear Dinesh,
Thank you for sharing those information.
I totally agree with your saying that 'the purpose brings clarity in our communication'.
Infact I was going through lot of articles with regard to etiquettes and ofcourse as you said, it will change from matter to matter.
But nowadays, I feel business communication is not taken very seriously by most of the professionals. Most of the time we will get to see SMS language.
Anyways, it's great that you have shared your thoughts here, as even I wanted any of the experienced person to through up some light on it, so that I can also learn the best practices.
Thanks & Regards,

From India, Kochi
we should also not use any sms languages while writing mails and using short forms are a complete NO. like u for you, why for y etc.
otherwise I found 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 points very useful.
thanks for updating.

From India, New Delhi
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