Email is one of the most efficient and prevalent forms of communication in the business world. Emails are fast, easy, and convenient – but they must be done professionally and appropriately in order to be effective. The use of email in corporate culture is pervasive. I rarely get letters any more. Even phone calls are uncommon.

Needless to say, when we’re all constantly inundated with new messages popping up in our inbox, it becomes all too easy to let email etiquette slip a bit. Well, it doesn’t always present an issue! Really, there’s nothing wrong with keeping your messages casual when you’re replying to a friend about lunch plan or asking for a recipe from your aunty. In fact, it’d probably be weird if you were incredibly polished and formal in those emails.

However a poorly written business email can be the difference between yes and no or the difference between getting a job or missing out a project opportunity. Below are 10 essential email etiquette tips that will help ensure the best possible results in your day-to-day communications:

Keep it simple – emails should be focused and free of unnecessary information. Lists, bullet points, and short sentences will make your message easy to read and understand. Don’t clutter the email with more information than is needed.

Be polite and professional – make sure to open and close your message with an appropriate and polite greeting while conveying a positive tone. It is always better to be more formal than too casual when you are looking to make a good impression.

Respond in a timely manner – emails should be responded to within 24 hours. If you don’t have an immediate answer, acknowledge that you received the email and will respond as soon as you have more information.

Make sure to fully answer an email – avoid wasting time and cluttering an inbox with multiple responses to an email. Make sure to answer all aspects of an email and fully explain your answers so that the recipient does not have to continue asking questions.

Proofread – always look over your emails for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Simple errors like these can cause your email to look unprofessional and give the impression that you don’t care.

Always use the subject line – it is important to explain the email you are sending. Keep it brief, relevant, and specific. You want to keep your email from being ignored or getting lost in your recipients’ inbox.

Don’t use all caps – your email recipient may interpret this in the wrong way. Using all caps causes the email to look unprofessional.

Never send an email when you’re angry – if you’re upset about something, take a moment and wait before sending an email. You never want to say something in a message that you may later regret.

Keep the format of the e-mail professional – avoid colored texts and emoticons when sending a professional email, this often causes the message to look too casual.

Double check who you are sending an email to and what you are sending them – make sure you are sending your message to the correct email address and you have attached the correct documents.

When it comes to business email communication, it is important to make the right impression.  Using these tips will help ensure that your emails stay professional and efficient, and will help you get noticed beyond those who do not take the time to consider important email etiquette.