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Sincerely Yours: Email Writing Etiquette for Gen Z

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Did you read about these tweets that became viral?

The tweet from CV Malaya about Gen Z's email writing skills sparked different reactions from netizens.
CV Malaya's Tweet

The tweet from CV Malaya about Gen Z's email writing skills sparked different reactions from netizens.


 Some agreed with her and even shared a receipt of this same experience, as seen in this tweet by Nina Cabrera.
Nina Cabrera's Tweet







Some agreed with her and even shared a receipt of this same experience, as seen in this tweet by Nina Cabrera.












At the same time, one netizen pointed out that this is just a result of their lack of training in this type of writing. One can deduce from this topic becoming viral how crucial it is to know how to write proper emails in this day and age.
A netizen replied to the tweet





At the same time, one netizen pointed out that this is just a result of their lack of training in this type of writing. One can deduce from this topic becoming viral how crucial it is to know how to write proper emails in this day and age.








Does Gen Z know how to write Emails?

Email has benefited individuals and workplaces because of its widespread usage and accessibility. It is generally used for personal and business communication and promotions. Many people loved it because it helped them steer clear of the horrors of phone calls and dominated other time-consuming traditional communication like letters and fax. Email is fast, reliable, asynchronous, and can be easily used. Different generations embraced it, and we thought that the tech-savvy Gen Z would do the same. However, growing up during the rise of instant messaging affected how they perceive email.


Some Gen Z sees email exclusively for adults, work, or school. They sometimes create email accounts to only sign up on websites or for school requirements. Email is separate from their choices when it comes to online communication. Some only discover the importance of it when they enter college or start their internship.

Being surrounded by instant messaging platforms where you can be straightforward as possible with your messages somehow became a disadvantage for some Gen Z when writing their emails. Why? Because some of them still need to be made aware that there are rules in email writing.


When Gen Z is venturing toward the professional realm, they are expected to know the basics of email writing. Regrettably, many still need help understanding the subtleties of email etiquette. With their increasing screen time and access to the internet, they should have already known or searched about this. But sometimes, we must remember that they still need guidance with this sort of thing. That is why schools must teach about technical writing, specifically email netiquette. Some schools offer courses for this, like Technical Writing, or Purposive Communication. We must remind Gen Z that their personalities also come through in their emails.

What is Email Netiquette?

The proper way to write, respond to, and send emails is known as email etiquette. Depending on the type of email being sent, email etiquette can vary. For instance, email etiquette for communicating with friends and family generally differs from that required of you at business. Knowing the basics of email etiquette can help us write emails in a variety of contexts with confidence and professionalism.


Several factors make email etiquette important, including the fact that it:

· Enables us to act professionally in a workplace context

· Make sure your emails are clear and understandable

· Reduces the chance of sending improper emails



Here are some basic email etiquette guidelines:


Include a clear, direct subject line.

Make sure your subject line is straightforward and understandable. This can make it easier for the receiver to understand the subject of your email and increase the likelihood that the recipient will actually open it. Use caution when overusing words like "urgent" or "important" if your email requires a rapid response.


Use a professional email address.

You should always use your name in your email address so that the recipient can identify who sent the message. Never use email addresses that are inappropriate for usage in the business, like old ones from your elementary school days.


Include a signature block.

Add a signature with your name, title, the name of the business you work for, and your phone number to all of your professional emails.


Use professional salutations.

Choose a salutation that is appropriate for the relationship you have with the receiver. A casual salutation like "Hi" may be appropriate when contacting a coworker. It's advisable to use the person's name exactly as it appears in their email signature line if you're contacting them for the first time or if you're a professional acquaintance.


Know that people from different cultures speak and write differently.

It's crucial to understand cultural differences and maintain respect because what is acceptable in one culture may be offensive to another. Research the individual you might send an email to in order to achieve this. Increasing your level of self-awareness might help you become more conscious of cultural differences.


Proofread every message.

Always proofread your work before hitting submit because proper spelling and punctuation are crucial when sending professional email. Also, double check the recipient's name and email address because autocorrect has a tendency to change names. You can set up plugins to automatically examine your writing for faults.


Keep your fonts classic.

For business emails, standard fonts in colors and sizes, including Times New Roman or Arial, are acceptable. Try not to use bold or italics on more than one word or a group of words in a single email if you do use them.


Keep tabs on your tone.

Be as professional as you can while communicating about business matters, even if you are familiar with the person. To determine how professional your tone is before sending the email, you might find it beneficial to read your message aloud.


Send emails during business hours

Try to limit your email sending to times that correspond to the company's working hours or regular business hours.


Nothing is confidential--so write accordingly.

While communicating by email, use caution as the information might not be kept private. Protect any sensitive or private information you may have about other people or yourself


Many organizations now utilize instant messaging applications like Viber and Whatsapp to create faster, more efficient, and more productive communication with their employees. Despite this, email remains the top-tier choice for professional communication. Therefore, we all need to develop our fluency in email writing but still have an open mind for these rising communication platforms.




Sources

Herrity, J. (2023). 26 Email Etiquette Rules (With Advice on How To Follow Them). Retrieved from Indeed: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/email-etiquette-rules

Litt, M. (2018). Gen-Z employees don’t do email. Retrieved from Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/90261656/gen-z-employees-dont-do-email

Mims, C. (2016). For Generation Z, Email Has Become a Rite of Passage. Retrieved from The Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-generation-z-email-has-become-a-rite-of-passage-1460347264

Smith, J. (2016). 15 Email Etiquette Rules Every Professional Should Follow. Retrieved from Inc. Life: https://www.inc.com/business-insider/email-etiquette-rules.html


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