Email Etiquette Tips

Follow these simple email etiquette rules to create effective emails:

#1 Write well-structured emails: Do not make an email longer than it needs to be. Remember that reading an email is harder than reading printed communications. Use bullets when possible.

#2 Use short, descriptive subjects: This will help the recipient as well as yourself if you ever need to find the email again. If previous email threads are used to open a new email thread, change the subject of the new email thread to avoid confusion.

#3 Use a spelling checker: Embarrassing spelling errors can easily be avoided.

#4 Read your email before sending Many people don’t bother to read an email before they send it out. A spelling checker cannot eliminate all errors and typos. Simply by rereading an email before it is sent out will help you reduce errors and improve the effectiveness of your message.

#5 Do not send unnecessary or large attachments via email: If possible include a link to a downloadable document instead. Large attachments (over 10 MB) are highly likely to be blocked along the way.

#6 Do not write emails in capitals: Capitals in emails come across as AGGRESSIVE. Usually this is not the intention of the sender, but nevertheless the recipient can be intimidated by use of capitalization.

#7 Do not use abbreviations such as OMG and LOL: This is not appropriate for business communications.

#8 Do not use cc: or bcc: fields for mailings: Valuable customer contacts can be exposed in this way and your company can face a privacy breach lawsuit. Instead, use company-designated mail merge software.

#9 Only mark emails as important if they really are important:: Over usage of the high importance option will obtain the adverse affect.

#10 Do not use the recall option: Emails cannot be recalled. All the recipient will see is another email message saying that you wish to recall the email message.

#11 Do not use email to discuss confidential information:: Sending an email is like sending a postcard. If you don’t want your email to be displayed on a bulletin board, don’t send it. Moreover, never make any libelous, sexist or racially discriminating comments in emails, even if they are meant to be a joke.

#12 Do not use the delivery or read receipt option:: You will irritate the recipient, and the receipt will probably be removed from the email.

#13 Don’t send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks: By sending or even just forwarding one libelous, or offensive remark in an email, you and your company can face court cases resulting in multi-million dollar penalties.

#14 Do not overuse the cc: field: Try not to use the cc: field unless the recipient in the cc: field knows why they are receiving a copy of the message. Using the cc: field can be confusing since the recipients might not know who is supposed to act on the message.

#15 Be careful using Reply to All: Make sure that everyone from the original email really needs to see your response.

#16 Include the message thread: It is better to include the message thread so that the recipient can browse through the history of the conversation without having to search through their inbox.

#17 Include an email signature: Check if the company is adding email signatures centrally at the server level or whether you should add your own. Read these tips for creating a professional email signature.

#18 Keep emails short and concise: Short and concise emails are more effective than longwinded emails. If the email is too long, recipients will only skim over the content.

#19 Send a complete response: If you are replying to an email with questions, make sure you reread the original email before sending your reply to make sure that you have answered all questions.

#20 Avoid adding personal quotes to your email signature: Leave the inspiring quotes for personal messages, not for business emails.