A vital tool for any business, email allows us to instantly connect with new clients, existing business partners, and potential suppliers. As you probably know, a business’ inbox can be a busy place. Administrators exchange many emails every day, leaving them searching for more efficient ways to communicate.
Acronyms are useful time-saving tools in the world of business-to-business (B2B) communications. These abbreviations take the first letter of each word to form a shorter word. This linguistic tool helps to minimise word count, keep things concise, and speed up the writing process.
However, the world of acronyms can get confusing—especially for those new to B2B emailing. To save you the time and stress of researching what a particular jumble of letters means, we’ve put together this go-to guide to give you the low-down on the most common acronyms you’ll come across.
KNOW YOUR EMAIL ACRONYMS
Are you struggling to tell your WFHs from your NRNs? Not anymore! Use the handy list below to become familiar with 10 of the most common acronyms used in business communications.
You’ll frequently see ASAP used in emails with an urgent or motivating tone. Meaning “as soon as possible”, you can use this acronym to indicate you need something done right away. Suppliers might use this one in their communications to emphasise the speed with which something can be delivered, and you’ll also see it used in all sorts of other communications. Choose this acronym when delegating work that needs doing… ASAP.
IMO occurs in B2B and casual communications alike. It stands for “in my opinion”. This acronym can trim down and clarify sentences when you’re expressing an idea or point of view as opposed to a fact. It also helps take the authoritative and critical edge off a message, showing that you’re giving feedback based on your own views.
LMK stands for “let me know”. This acronym serves as a nice, informal way to close an email or communication when seeking an answer to a non-urgent question.
NRN, meaning “no reply necessary”, lets the reader know the intention of the communication without prompting them to respond. NRN will save your inbox from filling up with unnecessary, sentence-long replies sent to show that the reader has seen the message. You can use NRN at the end of a list of instructions or when informing partners or colleagues of news.
Not limited to business communications, FYI often appears in casual texts and direct messages. A shortened version of “for your information”, FYI indicates that the sender has shared a resource or message that could be helpful to your business or current projects.
EOD means “end of day”. It’s used to indicate the closing time of a business, and senders often use EOD to set a deadline for a piece of work, invoice, or another document: “Please get the report to me by EOD”.
Ever sent an email and received an instant, automated reply? Chances are your eyes scanned across OOO—“out of office”—when reading the response. Use this handy acronym when on vacation or a business trip where you can’t access your office computer or accounts. It’ll inform your colleagues that you’ll get back to them ASAP.
Both professional and old-school, PS doesn’t look out of place at the end of written letters. PS, or “postscript”, indicates that the sender has written an additional note or thought at the end of the message that might not be related to the main message. Use PS to add extra—potentially off-topic—information to your email without having to write a separate message.
Speaking of off-topic, that’s exactly what OT stands for. Although PS rightly exists at the end of a message, OT can be used throughout a text to quickly insert important but not directly relevant information.
WFH communicates “working from home” in a brief format. This acronym can pop up when a manager asks their employees to work remotely, or when an employee or partner chooses to communicate their work location for the day.
THE WORLD OF B2B EMAIL ACRONYMS: MORE WHERE THAT CAME FROM
Although these are some of the most popular acronyms used in B2B email communications, there are dozens more you might come across. Stay on top of them to save time and show you are up-to-date on industry jargon.