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Mind Your E-mail Etiquette

by | Sep 6, 2010


We’re not swinging on a hammock waiting around for your internet-clogging MP3 audio file to grace our company in-boxes! Heed the following:

Keep it short. We are inundated with information. So make your email fetching, organized and as short as possible.

Attach documents thoughtfully. Ask yourself, does this person really need to read all of this? Make sure your email does not get ignored altogether because of too many appendages.

Copy others only when necessary. Figure out what your organization’s culture and policies are on this issue. While it’s important to keep people in the loop, be careful about zapping others with information they may not need.

Hide the email addresses if you do “Copy” others. Unless you intend to show others who received the message, put your name in the “from” and “to” boxes and put all your recipients’ email addresses in the “bcc” box. Otherwise, your email becomes an invasion of email address privacy for the people you are writing. Plus, people observe where they are placed in your lineup of email addresses if you don’t hide the names. Inadvertently, the receiver of your email could get insulted depending on where their name appears on your list. In a visible list, it’s wise to alphabetize.

Stop sending jokes, chain letters, and drippy vignettes. What you do personally is up to you. If you must, send these mind-numbing missives to your friends from your home computer. While on the job, keep your emails focused on your job.

Postpone angry emails indefinitely. Emails are permanent records that can be transferred or saved by a simple click. All it takes is one person forwarding your diatribe to the company directory. Confront in private, praise in public.

Include an automatic signature line. End with pertinent data about you. Put your name, your phone number(s), your website, and a short description of what you do.

Use a descriptive subject header. Avoid subject headers like, “Hi”, “Memo”, or “Volume 3, Edition 1”. Make your reader want to open the email by being as detailed and personal as possible.


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