Monday, June 15, 2009

Email Etiquette

Comprehensive List of Email Etiquette
  • Make certain that you are writing the email to the right person.
  • Plan out as to what you wish to achieve through your email; its objectives. The entire effectiveness of your email lies in the answer to question, "Did you ultimately achieve the objective for which you wrote the email?"
  • Get all the contents, facts and figures at one place before you start writing your email. You may have to refer to other related correspondence and literature for this.
  • Chalk out the complete contents of the email you wish to write, their sequence, paragraphing and flow for your email.
  • Your email should also include the content ( in the form of short sentences, questions, directives etc) that will elicit the desired response or action from the receiver.
  • Rather than asking the receiver to recall an earlier message, include the earlier message in your email. Maintain the complete thread of correspondence on that particular subject matter.
  • Give a short and yet, meaningful subject title. This is very important- give it a thought. It should not be too big or even too short. Subject title should give an idea of what the email is all about.
  • Be precise, concise and to the point.
  • Do not write very long emails (never longer than a page).
  • In case you are sending an email reply, reply to all the points raised by the other person. Add anything that you want the other person to tell you and do for you.
  • Send a prompt reply; that is the very reason you are using email.
  • Use proper grammar, spellings and punctuation. Use the spell and grammar checks but do not blindly depend upon them for complete accuracy or correctness. Use also your native wisdom.
  • Do not use all capital letters in your email; in email lingo it means you are shouting or screaming.
  • Do not use all lower case letters too. Why flout the conventional way of writing English language?
  • Emails are more informal as compared to the conventional letters but never loose. Therefore, emails are more personal sort but yet businesslike.
  • Use proper layout or format.
  • Should look aesthetically appealing.
  • Use "high priority (high importance)" option only if your email really deserves it.
  • Use "request a delivery receipt" or "request a read receipt" option only when you think it is very important for you. Need not use it every time.
  • Do not use "reply to all" unless you really wish to reply to all.
  • Do not mark "Cc" or "Bcc" to those who are not connected with the business related to the subject matter.
  • Do not attach the attachments that are not necessary. Attach only the essential attachments to your email (and make their mention in your email).
  • Do not use abbreviations (unless they are absolutely universally understood) or emotions.
  • Do not use slang in your use of language.
  • Do not use email for confidential matters or matters of secret nature.
  • Use active voice, avoid using passive voice.
  • Do not use lengthy or long winding sentences. Use short sentences (maximum 15 to 20 words in a sentence).
  • Do not forward all kinds of emails to anyone and everyone.
  • Do not write or forward emails containing defamatory, derogatory, unfounded, loose, ethnic, racist and obscene remarks.
  • Do not forward chain emails.
  • Do not forward the jokes all over the place.
  • Do not forward virus hoaxes.
  • Never reply to spam. It may be dangerous security wise.
  • Add disclaimers in your email as appropriate.
  • When unhappy with an email or email reply from others, do not use a number of exclamations or question marks in your reply email to tell the recipient so.
  • If you are annoyed with a colleague or client, do not send a curt, cold or rude email.
  • Do not point out spelling errors and grammatical mistakes to senders of emails to you.
  • Do you ever get into arguments in emails and send copies of the verbal “match” to everyone? If you do, stop it.
  • Do not give email ids of other persons to anyone without taking their permission.
  • Check your email thoroughly for contents, facts and figures, grammar, spellings etc once again before dispatching it. Make sure that you have spelt out the name(s) of the receiver(s) correctly.

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