Email Etiquette

The spread of e-mail has thrown all the letter writing rules out the window, and people are still a little confused about its etiquette.  Because it’s so easy to send out a message with a bare minimum of thought, people are lucky not to send private complaints about a co-worker to the entire office, much less figure out when to use ‘M.’ or ‘Mrs.’”

 

Some tips on e-mailing are:

  1. The subject line is very important because it helps people determine how important an e-mail is and how they should respond. Be sure the subject line is reasonably informative and relevant to the subject.
  2. Stick to a standard font that’s not too big and not too small.
  3. Copying in people with cc can be useful, especially if you want to subtly indicate to your recipient that someone else is hearing the conversation you are having.
  4. Make sure you don’t send anything you don’t want to send. Often it is important to pause for a little while before pressing the “send” button.
  5. Keep it short and sweet.
  6. No yelling – avoid typing your message in capital letters as they are the equivalent of shouting.
  7. Don’t issue serious complaints or criticism, contracts, business plans, salary and sales information by e-mail – for these use traditional forms of transmission.
  8. Only flag messages as high priority when they really are.
  9. Don’t let e-mails that arrive while you are on vacation go unanswered – programme an out of office response that tells the sender how long you will be away.
  10. Respond to a business e-mail within 24 hrs and a personal e-mail within 2 days.