Before email existed, if you wanted to exchange information with a co-worker, you called him on the phone or talked to her in person. With email, it’s often easier and more convenient to send a quick email than to pick up the phone or walk down the hall. Email doesn’t require that the coworker be in the office and it allows multiple co-workers to converse with each other regardless of the availability of each worker at any given time. Although email can be more convenient and aid efficiency, it also carries communication risks because it is just a series of letters on the screen, absent of facial expression, body language or tone.

This week in Promotional Consultant Today, we have looked at the use of digital technology with co-workers. We conclude the series today with the final six of 12 Crucial Email Etiquette tips for Business Professional from nationally syndicated television etiquette expert Patricia Rossi.

1. Get To The Point. Rossi notes that the average person sends and receives more than 100 emails every day. Everyone who receives your email has more on their to-do list than just to read your email. To help everyone get through email quickly and get on with the day, keep your email as brief as possible and start with the most important information first. Do any small talk at the end of the email instead of at the beginning.

2. Be Mindful Of Tone. You put the words down, but it’s up to the recipient to interpret those words. In order to ensure your email tone won’t be interpreted incorrectly, re-read your email before you send, but put yourself in the shoes of the recipient. Rossi makes a great point to keep in mind that humor and sarcasm are often lost in translation.

3. Don’t Assume Confidentiality. Your emails can be printed, forwarded, blind-copied to other co-workers, read off computer screens and saved for years to come. Don’t include anything in an email you wouldn’t want other people to read.

4. Have A Call To Action. Co-workers often don’t know what to do with your email. Begin your email with what you expect from the recipient.

5. Make Your Signature Helpful. Even though recipients may know who you are or you may note who you are in the email, include a signature with your name, email address, phone number and other pertinent contact information. Be careful, though, not to make your signature information overwhelming.

6. Respond To Emails. You should respond to every email within 24 hours. If you can’t answer a question being asked or fully reply to the email in that time frame, at least confirm you received the email and let the sender know when you might be able to complete your response.

Source: Patricia Rossi is the host of NBC daytime’s weekly “Manners Minute” which airs in 165 syndicated television markets. Her best-selling book Everyday Etiquette: How to Navigate 101 Common and Uncommon Social Situations (St. Martin’s Press 2011) is currently in its fifth printing. Rossi is a nationally acclaimed business etiquette coach, spokesperson, author and columnist. She has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications.