Email etiquettes in the age of chats & IMs

7 Email etiquettes in the age of chats & IMs



When it comes to office communications, WhatsApp and Slack are not just becoming official channels of communication but also replacing the watercooler talks. Some hacks, do’s and don’ts at work to stay on top of the email game.

Reply or Reply All

One of the most difficult choice to make is whether to reply or reply all to an email. Removing one or two recipients may give rise to politically complex situations, worst, you may be seen as talking behind the back! Best way to diffuse this situation is by adding a disclaimer and moving unwanted recipients to bcc. Something on the lines of ‘moving purchase team to bcc and sparing their inbox’.

Free beer

Using cheesy or click bait subject lines are acceptable if they don’t cross a line, hurt someone’s sentiments or is not used for bringing attention to a sensitive subject.

Emoji & stickers

A smiley here, a thumbs up there can be tolerated in an email; but an email for official communication purposes deserve some amount of formality if not completely drafted in queen’s English. Save those emoji or stickers for chats and IMs.


A 10MB attachment emailed to 10 people is actually 100MB. Most of us check email out of mobile phone and downloading and viewing large files is a painful experience. One can get smart about sharing files anything larger than 2MB; consider WeTransfer, Google Drive, Dropbox. If you have an office intranet, save files on a folder and share the link.

Double Opt in

Sharing someone’s contact on WhatsApp maybe easy and convenient, but be mindful of making introductions on official email. Best practices to have a double opt in, that is you have consent of both the parties to be introduced prior to writing the email. Following double opt in is all the even more important if you are dealing with CXOs.

Subject line only

When you have only a few words to broadcasted to a group of people, it is completely acceptable and appreciated if you can say that using just the subject line; you don’t have to repeat the subject line on email body. For example if a client visit is moved by half hour, you can simply send an email with just the subject ‘XYZ client meeting delayed by 30 mins, tnx’

Brevity and TL;DR

our attention spans and ability to focus continuously on one thing is reducing by the day. Crispy, succinct and abridged versions of emails are always appreciated. Besides, we procrastinate reading lengthy emails. If you have a lot to say, try convening a meeting. If you want a quick response, keep it short.