Approximately 205 billion emails are sent every day. Email has quickly taken the place of formal business letters, memos, and face-to-face communication. The sheer volume of email that the average person receives daily can cause important messages to get lost or even misconstrued if the recipient does not read them carefully. Learning how to effectively communicate using email is crucial for everyone.

Any email sent from your work email address is considered to be an official company document. It can often be difficult to infer a person’s tone through email, so it is important to be polite and avoid phrases that may be interpreted as passive-aggressive. Some phrases or copies that seem benign that can come off as passive-aggressive when read by others include:

  • Circle back = Micromanaging
  • Copying management when not needed = Wanting a paper trail or trying to get the recipient in trouble

When composing an email, be concise and avoid extra words or phrases as they do not add value, but actually detract from your message. To improve your email etiquette, check out the 21 Sentences You Should Never Include in an Email [].

Picking the best time to send an email will increase the likelihood that it is read and responded to. Mondays and Fridays are usually the least ideal to send an email that requires a response. The best time to send one is from Tuesday through Thursday, either in the early morning or late evening.

If your email requires a response, be diligent in following up. People can get overwhelmed or distracted and forget to respond. Be persistent, but courteous in your follow up. After one to two business days (depending upon the importance), forward the original email with a simple “Did you have a chance to see this”, along with a one or two sentence recap.

Upgrading your email etiquette will allow your messages to be received as they were intended and responded to in a timely manner.

Michael Klein is a premier writer and speaker on all aspects of human capital.  As VP Operations for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. Michael was awarded, The New York State Small Business Growth Award; presented by Governor George Pataki.  Additionally, Michael has successfully grown and sold multiple firms. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact Michael at 646-350-3015 or

5 Year Candidate Replacement Program illustrates our long-term commitment to the success of our clients. Discover how our process can benefit your organization.