Email Message Style: It’s A Good Thing

The email etiquette you use when you write your email message is a bridge between what you have to say and what’s important to the reader. So, if you’re wondering how to write something, paying attention to your email etiquette is a good place to start.

The look & feel (or email style), of your email message is polish to your content. It’s similar to the importance of a well structured business letter. Email etiquette will determine if your audience reads your email message, if they understand your message, and if they take your message seriously… or Not!

Good email structure also positively impacts your Time Management by helping you do more important work with less need to follow-up on unanswered messages and / or messages that were not misinterpreted.

Example: How motivated are you to read an email that looks like this?

Nobody wants to try to understand the copy in a brick.

Style can make – or break your email message and your reputation.

Since it’s estimated that 90% of business communication is via email, how your message is packaged will have tremendous impact on your professional success. Whether it’s a business letter or a business email, good structure helps your audience read quickly and understand the information you want them to know.

Example: In one hand I have a perfectly square, polished silver box with an embossed Mercedes-Benz logo. In the other hand I have a wrinkled brown paper bag rolled at the top. They both contain a message. Which package are you motivated to open? Which do you think has the most valuable message?

The business value of email etiquette is experienced in a number of ways, but to succeed your email message first has to be read. To be read you have to be respected.

Are you ready to empower the way you communicate with your clients, suppliers and co-workers? Everyone can win!

Etiquette Rules: Consider a few of my favourite:

  1. Value your Values
    Employees should know without hesitation the corporate and department values. They should also know how to use these values to differentiate the company every time they email or speak with clients, suppliers or their co-workers.
  2. Subject Line Sliders
    Subject lines are a primary resource to determine if your email will be read now, later or never. They are also the first opportunity for you to make an impression. If you leave the subject line blank – or use a universal word like ‘Meeting’, you risk being overlooked.
  3. Serial Cc’ers
    Coworkers Cc’ing each other is an epidemic. In an office of 10 employees, if all the staff Cc the boss an extra 10 times a day, that’s an extra 100 email the boss has to sort through… consider the opportunity lost in that time.
  4. Capital Catastrophes
    Every office seems to have one employee that uses ALL CAPS WHEN WRITING EMAILS! This is perceived as aggressive. Conversely, young employees tend to write emails in lower case with little or no punctuation. Proper sentence case should always be used in business communication to promote a professional image.

My next blog post is titled: Top 10 Email Etiquette Tips & Team Training. It has 16 email etiquette Do’s and Don’ts.


  • Don’t put your personal and business relationships at risk because of the email you or your employees send.
  • Learn to identify your communication problems, solve them and then provide ongoing feedback and motivation.
  • Improve Time Management by writing well structured, professional email messages your associates will open, read, understand and answer promptly. A well written email message reduces the time you spend following-up on unanswered email or questions.

Bruce Mayhew Consulting’s Effective Business Email Writing Training is designed for business professionals who are looking for a cost-effective way to learn how to write an email message. Our training solutions focus in three strategic areas that help you differentiate yourself and be more successful:

  1. Structure Of Your Message
  2. Content Within Your Message
  3. Sell / Market Yourself and Your Organization within every email

Imagine work being easier. Imagine work being more productive.

Happy communication and e-mail writing. 

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Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Business Writing, Email Etiquette, Time Management and Mindfulness. Bruce Mayhew on Canada AM

Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen. Click on the image to the right to watch us on Canada AM. I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

Bruce Mayhew Consulting

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.  

About Bruce Mayhew
Bruce Mayhew is a Leadership Coach, Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer who builds strong client and co-worker relationships that give clients a competitive advantage. Our training and development programs include: ■Generational Differences ■Effective Business Email Writing ■Email Etiquette ■Phone Etiquette ■Behaviour Event Interviewing (BEI) ■Mindfulness ■Using Linkedin to Build Client Relationships ■Objective Setting Made Easy

7 Responses to Email Message Style: It’s A Good Thing

  1. SamanthaI says:

    I am thrilled that you wrote about the importance of grammar and etiquette in email. The workplace, no matter how informal, should not appear to be written by a text-crazed teen. It takes but a moment to write out “let me know” rather than LMK, especially to senior management. Kudos!

    • Bruce Mayhew says:

      Thanks for your comment & feedback. Email grammar, style, etiquette – whatever the world wishes to call them it critical to reputation. More so than most realize.

  2. Pingback: Effective Communication. The Multipurpose Communication Solution « Bruce Mayhew Blog: Business Communication

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  6. Alka says:

    Hello Bruce

    This is Alka from New Delhi. I teach Business Communication to Post Grads. I really liked the content and the treatment of the topic.


I’ll enjoy reading your thoughts and your experiences.

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