Email plays a large role in employees' workdays. McKinsey Global Institute estimated that 28 percent of the work week is spent reading and responding to emails. While we use this type of communication for a variety of reasons, from querying other businesses to quickly replying to a coworker, there are right and wrong ways to handle email, which are listed below:

Follow the proper format
Emails get sent out to all kinds of people, from friends to business connections. It's important to follow the correct format for each audience. You can take on a more casual, lighthearted tone with friends and family, but you should avoid this with business contacts. Professional emails should be short and to the point, according to the Houston Chronicle. Save the fancy fonts and colors for your friends and only use plain, black text and common fonts such as Arial and Times New Roman. Not every computer has the same styles, so you risk your message not showing up correctly if you try to be unique. Don't forget to edit for slang, grammar and spelling because nothing screams "unprofessional" better than an unproofread email.

Make use of the subject line
For your recipient to know whether it requires immediate attention or if it's even worth reading, he needs to be able to tell what the email contains without opening it. The subject line is your best friend. Include words such as "Reply Requested" or "Action Needed" if you need the person to respond quickly, The Grossman Group suggested. Make sure your subject line also contains a brief summary of the content of your email – a few words will suffice.

Avoid attachments
If you know the recipient will download documents via email, go ahead and attach them. If you don't, avoid it if you can. Many people won't click on attachments if they're unfamiliar with you – they don't want to risk downloading viruses. If possible, copy and paste what you want to send into the body of the email. It'll ensure nothing gets passed along and will save the recipient the trouble of downloading anything. If you have to send attachments, make sure it's in a format that will be readable on the recipient's computer, the Chronicle advised. PDFs are the best choice for this.

Skip misunderstandings
Anything that has the possibility of being misconstrued is not a conversation for email. If tone or expression are important parts of a message, that's a discussion for a face-to-face meeting, the source explained. If your receiver misreads your message, it could be harmful to your business. It could cost you a major sale that your financial plan was counting on. You don't want to risk the recipient misunderstanding your email, so sometimes it's best for contact to take place in person.

While email is a great tool for business communications, there are rules that go along with it. If you consider your audience, you'll be able to write a professional email specifically for your recipient.