Three internal email etiquette tips

Building a community and positive culture are important attributes of any company or institution. Considering employees and their time, obligations, and “what’s in it for them” in any communications you send can greatly affect their perception of not only your company culture, but of your leaders as well.

As Ragan explains, mindful and considerate email etiquette has become more crucial in the era of hybrid and remote work schedules, when the boundary between work and home can blur. Below are a few recommended tips to guide your internal emails.

Consider the time of your send and reply.
Evaluate when you send non-business critical emails. Avoid sending late-night emails only because something’s on your mind especially when you’re in a senior position to your direct reports. Instead, schedule an email in Gmail so you won’t forget to send your email, but at a time that enforces a work-life balance.

If you have a message that MUST go out at an inconvenient time, be explicit about the expectation for replying. You could start your email subject line with “FOR TOMORROW” or adding “URGENT” to a time-sensitive message.

Create clarity in long messages.
Long messages can risk losing your reader’s attention. When a long message with multiple actions items is absolutely necessary make all stakeholder roles and responsibilities clear from start. Consider writing a short recap at the top of your message.

Follow the ‘3 email’ rule.
If a communication is not resolved within three emails, use a direct message, phone call, video chat, or in-person meeting. Emails can be a good way to summarize important information or a request, but aren't always effective for discussions.

For additional guidance on internal messages, check out our previous blog posts Tips for standout newsletters and Tips to Improve Internal Communications, or contact the Internal Communications team at