Email etiquette is becoming more important than ever before. The person who doesn’t use proper etiquette when sending emails loses the respect of the recipients.
Here is a short list of points to remember:
1. RE: means “Reply”. Many people write in the Subject line “RE: tonight’s party” meaning “Regarding tonight’s party”. This is incorrect and confuses the recipient.
2. Careful with “Reply All”. This has led to many email etiquette embarrassments. Always check who is on the list and if every single person on that list should read your reply.
3. Date your email correctly.
4. If you are participating in a thread email and your message changes the topic, follow email etiquette and make sure you also change the Subject line.
5. Sending an email to a big list that you want to keep private: If you are sending a message to a group of your friends, write their addresses in the “Bcc” line (blind copy) and your address in the TO line. This way you respect everybody’s privacy. However, you can write the list of your friends in the CC line if it serves your purposes, like a party invitation or a family reunion, where everybody wants to know who is attending in order to make arrangements.
6. Always think before you write. Remember, everything you write in an email is actually … in writing! It can be used against you.
7. Keep your messages short and to the point. People’s time must always be respected.
8. Subject line: just write few words with the key message in it.
9. Don’t mix subjects in your emails. Only write about one subject per email. This is more organized and less confusing for everybody.
10. Avoid slang in your email messages. This is difficult to read and can be misinterpreted.
11. Acronyms? Unless they are widely known (NATO, EU, etc.) avoid them. Not everybody knows what certain acronyms mean and you can’t assume they are common knowledge.
12. Use lots of white space in your emails. Write short paragraphs (4 to 5 lines) with 2 to 3 sentences per paragraph. A new idea needs a new paragraph. Use bullets to list things or ideas instead of commas. In other words, make your emails readable and pleasant to the eyes.