5 international business email etiquettes

[vc_row content_placement=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1558617556357{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-right: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;padding-left: 20px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1558612938571{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Crafting an email might seem fairly easy. It is something you do many times every single day, right? But in a world with 7 billion people with different understandings, cultures and beliefs, it might be a good idea to consider how you communicate through email, in order not to be misunderstood or interpreted in a wrong way.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”60″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”20892″ img_size=”500×200″ alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1560331012322{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1558613092257{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-right: 20px !important;padding-left: 20px !important;background-color: #193b56 !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Different business associates from across the world have certain ways of communicating and working. What seem funny or obvious to you might be extremely offensive to others sitting on the opposite side of the world with a different view and perspective on life. So, how do you bridge cultural differences in an email? Read further to understand how to master the art of international business email etiquette.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]


Having a hard time figuring out how to address your contacts? If you are in doubt, it is always a good idea to assume the highest level of courtesy at all times when emailing someone you do not know. In Germany and Japan “frau” and “san” are expected when emailing, but in many other countries Mr. and Ms. are acceptable. In order to find out when it is suitable to use the receiver’s first name, you can look for clues in how they address you and the tone of the email. In most companies, people do not mind being called by their first names, nevertheless in a global world, in some cultures informal writing might be perceived as taking premature liberties in a business relationship if used too soon.

Related: Business email etiquette.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

timeTime Zone

When communicating and working with people on the other side of the world, remember that your working hours might be completely opposite than the person you are emailing. This means that your message might not be seen until the next day. Under most circumstances, when waiting a day to respond to an email, the reality for your recipient is that two days will have gone by. Instead of responding only when having a spare moment, get in to the habit of writing a short acknowledgement of the received message including when you expect to reply. Developing this routine behavior of confirming receipt of messages and stating when you expect to reply goes a long way towards establishing a relationship of professionalism, collaboration and respect.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

time Keep it simple

With roughly 6.500 spoken languages in the world today, it is no surprise that complex writing can be misinterpret. When communicating with people who do not have the same native tongue as you, keep sentences simple and understandable. Avoid using metaphors, wordplay and sayings that can be misunderstood in another language since they most likely will not have the desired effect anyway.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

timeInternational context

Diverse writing styles can also differ from culture to culture, which means that cultures also have different opinions on what is appropriate business writing. Western countries such as the UK, USA, and Germany value directness, time and efficiency when communicating. These countries prefer getting right down to business rather than exchanging polite conversations. On the contrary, countries like Japan, India and China value details and respect the significance of establishing relationships when conducting business instead of seeing email as simply an efficient communication tool.

Related: Personnel’s perspective on cross-cultural email communication.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

timeGlobal English

While communicating through email, it might seem natural to use common slang when referring to specific events or objects. Instead, try to develop an international business standard for communicating. Global organizations find this practice to be useful and practical. As the global business workspace is moving towards a more standard international business language, English has become the primary language between businesses worldwide. Additionally, be careful when using irony and humor, as this can quickly be misunderstood when in a different cultural context. Always try to use general business terms, rather than specialist terminology.

Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” approach when emailing across cultures. However, becoming aware and taking a few overall precautions, is the way to establish long-term business relationships across the world and ultimately discovering new partners in the evolution of the global workforce.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20″][vc_column_text]

Follow these links if you would like to know more about the topic:

How To Succeed In A Cross-Cultural Workplace
Why It’s Important To Understand Cultural Difference In Business
11 Email Etiquettes Rules Every Professional Should Know

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