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:
- 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.
- Stick to a standard font that’s not too big and not too small.
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep it short and sweet.
- No yelling – avoid typing your message in capital letters as they are the equivalent of shouting.
- Don’t issue serious complaints or criticism, contracts, business plans, salary and sales information by e-mail – for these use traditional forms of transmission.
- Only flag messages as high priority when they really are.
- 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.
- Respond to a business e-mail within 24 hrs and a personal e-mail within 2 days.