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Email Etiquette

With today's quickly advancing technologies, we're not using the telephone and face to face communication as much as we used to. Proper communication still requires manners and a certain degree of etiquette. Communicating through electronic media requires good manners and often a great deal of effort. Below I have compiled a list of tips that will help you communicate like a professional and kind individual.

1. Be Careful When Clicking Send

At one time or another, I'm sure we have all hit the send button with regret. Once your email is sent, you can't take it back. If you have any doubt about sending your email, save it in your drafts folder and review it the next day. Never send a negative or hurtful email. It will come back to haunt you.

2. Fill In The Subject Line

Always, always fill in the subject line. If you don't, your email will likely end up in a Spam filter or at best make you look lazy. Keep Your subject line short and to the point. This will encourage a quicker response.

3. Keep The Main Content Of Your Email As Short As Possible

Large emails can require a lot of time and effort to read. If your asking for something, stay within one or two short sentences with the second sentence being a thankful blurb. That way you're more likely to get a response. Keeping your email short, implies you're not going to take to much of the recipients time and your well organized.

4. Clearly Organize Your Email

Make sure your message is properly organized and grammatically correct. Keep your content matter in order by using well structured sentences. Keep individual content subjects separated into paragraphs instead of using one large page of nonstop text. Never send your email without a spell check.

5. Use Proper Salutations Along With a Detailed Signature

Its important to address the person or persons your emailing. If it's one to three individuals, include all their names: Hello Bill, Mary and Sam. For large groups: Hello All or Hello Everyone. After the first reply, you can keep things short by not using a salutation at all. Your email should end with a detailed signature or at least your full name. Your signature should contain your full name, business name if it's for business, address, email and phone number. Adding a web site address to your signature can be an issue with Spam filters. Some Spam filters will interpret an email signatures web address as Spam. This can be a frustrating issue for a legitimate business.

6. Be Careful What You Say

Most people write differently than they speak. You may be writing something that may sound offensive and not realizing it. Be sure to include good manners, nice gestures and be courteous. This will help eliminate any negative conclusions by the reader.

7. Answer Your Emails

Answer your emails in a reasonable amount of time. Not answering an email is equivalent to ignoring someone. If you're email address is connected to any organizations, it will reflect poorly on them also.

8. Never Cc a Large Group

Never Cc a large group of people. By doing so, it places all the cc email address's in everyones address book. Always use blind Bcc instead. Sending a large group emails exposes everyone to being spamed. Not everybody runs anti virus software and you risk exposing everyone to spamers. It's interesting to note, Cc stands for Carbon Copy. Somewhat amusing using this abbreviation with todays technologies. I'm sure anyone born after 1985 is wondering what carbon paper is.

9. Don't Yell

Never type your email message in caps. CAPITALISATION SAY'S YOU'RE YELLING. Also beware of anger and frustration in your choice of words, the recipient will hear the anger and frustration within your writing.

10. Never Send Email When Angry

Never send and email when you're angry, chances are you'll regret sending it. It's also very hard to see grammatical errors when you're angry. Remember whatever you send in writing can be shared with others and there is no taking it back. Make a life choice to never send an email when you're angry. It will save you a great deal of grief one day.

11. Don't Use Abbreviations

People may not understand your abbreviation and find it very annoying. Abbreviations can create confusion and lead to your email being ignored.

12. Don't Use Symbols

Symbols can be very personal. What you think is a funny symbol, may not be thought of that way on the other end. Never use a symbol in business emails or professional communications. Symbols are best used within online forums and close friends. Smiley faces :-) and laughing out loud 'lol' should be kept to a minimum

13. Don't Email Jokes

Try to avoid sharing a joke or something you thought was funny. It's rarely viewed the same way at the recipients end and it only adds to ones in box. Jokes should only be shared with close friends only, never business emails.

14. Don't Use Swear Words

Never use profanity in an email. Chances are it will end up in a Spam filter, if not it will reflect poorly on your character.

15. Don't Use Email For Personal Interaction

Email can often come across cold when dealing with personal matters. Sometimes, what you're trying to communicate will have a different meaning when read by another. Nothing can replace a face to face conversation, body language and a real smile. Try to avoid technology when communicating with someone close to you.


Email Etiquette Content provided by Mark Townsend Inc.