Email Etiquette

By | Oct 23, 2008

Be polite
Some people will send an email with a demanding tone. Emails to friends are all right to be silly, but professional emails should always be professional. Address them as seems proper, if in doubt don’t use first names, but titles. If responding back to someone who signed off with their first name, it’s probably ok for you to address them as such. Don’t make an email longer than it needs to be.

Check for spelling and grammar mistakes
Don’t type an email message and send it off without reviewing its contents, you may have just told your stockbroker to sell when you meant to say do not sell. Don’t use ‘short-hand’ codes. While it may be to an advantage to use U instead of ‘you’ or R in¬stead of ‘are’ in a text message, it should never be used in an email.

Don’t leave out details, but at the same time don’t put in to much information
When asking a question or requesting information, give enough details so that your recipient will understand your request, but not too much information that they won’t bother to read it. When replying to an email that was sent to you, answer all of the questions in the email. Some times the first question is answered, but one later in the email wasn’t, possibly because it wasn’t read. It’s also a good idea to send information for questions not asked, but you suspect may follow. It’s a good idea to keep the message thread. The message thread is the prior emails of the same subject. Some people think that since an earlier email was sent, the prior information is not needed. People receive many emails each day, and may not remember all of the details of prior messages. By keeping the thread intact, they can quickly review the topic.

Watch the use of attachments
Attachments have become the bane of many email users. Over the years attachments may have contained viruses and the common practice is not to open attachments unless you have requested someone to send a file or know they may be sending one. Some companies may even filter out some or all attachments before they reach the recipient. You may even be violating copyright laws by forwarding certain attachments sent to you.

Use email responsibly. Do not use CAPITAL LETTERS
To many this is interpreted as shouting. Use the proper layout and short paragraphs with blank lines between each paragraphs makes an email easier to read. Email programs have an option of sending an email as high priority. Many people ignore priority in email messages, and some may even see a high-priority message as slightly aggressive and act. It’s best not to send it this way unless you know the one you are sending it to wants you to use it. Watch what you forward. Some people may be comfortable sending you information, but may not want others to know. Refrain from requesting delivery and read receipts, they may be annoying to the recipient. Don’t attempt to recall a message, it has probably already been delivered. It’s better to send a second email acknowledging your mistake. Answer your emails within a reasonable amount of time, but don’t continue the email chain by returning one when a response is no longer required.

Address emails correctly
If sending out an informational email to many different people, use the Bcc: field. It’s not always advisable to use the Bcc: field instead of the Cc: field. Blind copy only when it’s necessary. People don’t like their email address passed around without their permission. If addressing too many people in the To: field, that is what’s happening. Watch the usage of Cc: field. Many people may not realize they were simply copied on the email and not act upon the message. Beware using the Reply to: or the Reply to All:. Only reply to those who need to see your reply. This goes double if you are you are replying to an email sent by a subordinate to criticize their email.


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Thank You for Reading

7 Comments so far
  1. […] Posted on Sep 23, 2007 by Patrick Pulled from 6 Things to Consider are bad technology habits and email etiquette I wish a lot of people these days would read and keep in mind. The gist of the first […]

  2. Sacramento Website Design November 21, 2008 4:14 pm

    I can think of quite a few clients and frineds I am sending this post to. Another annoyance for me is that my mother N Law loves to send me so many URLS and images that she always ends up getting dinged by my zone alarm and then I have to hunt her down and unjunk her. I don’t think I’ll be making that effort too much longer.

  3. Cape Town Accommodation February 2, 2009 9:26 am

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  4. How to win ex back February 3, 2009 7:50 am

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  5. Kamden February 18, 2009 5:46 pm

    You saved me a lot of time researching for my class assignment. I am in your debt forever!

  6. Matthew Dorant February 20, 2009 11:43 pm

    Thanks again for making this post, as others mentioned already.

  7. LinZi January 7, 2010 8:38 am

    Keep up the good work! Look forward to reading more from you in the future. I think it will be also nice if you add “send to email” tool so people can forward the articles to their friends easily.

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