Today email has replaced snail mail and become the first choice in communication, but Email etiquette is often neglected. Millions of emails are sent through cyberspace every second, how many of them exhibit the correct “netiquette” if at all? Emails take only a few seconds to draft and moments after “send” is selected arrive at their destination. This speedy practice often results in poor and inferior quality communication.
Why is Email Etiquette Important?
Well worded emails get to the point and are more effective.
Well drafted emails create a professional image.
Good subject lines get opened and don’t land up in the recycling bin.
Drafting a well worded email means you are less likely to offend; this means less law suits.
Well drafted emails are less likely to be sent to the wrong person.
Good subject matter means fewer misunderstandings.
Important Email Etiquette Tips
Run a spell check and edit before sending.
Check that the email is addressed to the right person.
Do not default “Reply to All”, select this option only if the email is relevant to all.
Keep emails short and to the point, lengthy emails are often deleted. Break larger emails up into separate mails.
When replying to a message ensure your reply is above the message (thread) you are quoting.
When replying to an email place your signature above the quoted text (message thread).
Do not forward any chain mail, most of these are hoaxes and simply annoy their recipients.
Ensure your virus protection is up to date; you don’t need any worms or Trojans sneaking in.
Add a message when forwarding emails, eg. We were both searching for an argumentative essay outline; I received this link and thought you would also find it beneficial.
Acknowledge receipt of email if a later response is required. This reassures the writer that the mail has not been gobbled up by a spam filter.
Never send large attachments. If these are essential, request permission first.
Correct grammar, spelling and punctuation are essential.
Avoid acronyms at all costs. Instant messaging has birthed new acronyms (eg. FYI – for your information), do not use these.
Resize pictures and attachments before adding to the body.
AVOID SHOUTING AT YOUR RECIPIENT IN CAPITAL LETTERS! Use lower case only.
Add the recipient when your email is ready to be sent avoiding embarrassing emails to the wrong person.
Read through the email before you send it.
Answer emails promptly, if they require a delayed response acknowledge receipt.
Avoid discussing confidential and personal matters via email.
Avoid using the CC field unnecessarily.
Do not forward emails with libellous, racism, pornographic or obscene remarks.
Keep your emails personal. Avoid using statements such as “Should you require any clarification or information, please contact the author of this message.” Rephrase to read as follows:” Please contact me should you require any further information.”
Summarise your email in the subject line. eg. Meeting: Senior Management, Wednesday 14 May 2009,HR Boardroom instead of Management Meeting.
Ensure that all your correct contact details reflect in your email signature.