As with any form of communication there is a certain set of unspoken rules of etiquette, even with email. Not following these rules can sometimes annoy your friends or lead to embarrassing moments in the office. Here at Mail2World we care about you and your communications, so we thought we would add to our last post on etiquette and give you some “Golden” tips on the etiquette of writing an email. Because unlike some of the newer forms of communication such as texting and/or Twitter, we don’t limit your communications. Email more than ever is becoming an important tool for precise communication and most businesses are also using email to document business transactions and interactions.
- Do not—under any circumstances— send chain letters. No one likes chain letters, specially office colleagues. Chain letters tend to be full of inappropriate jokes or pictures that may be offensive. Think of your audience if you still decide to send one, regardless of how funny you think it may be.
- Use the “Reply All” button sparingly. There is a huge difference between the “Reply” and the “Reply All.” The “Reply All” should only be used if you are absolutely positive ALL of the recipients will benefit from your reply. Otherwise, some recipients will receive messages not intended for them or you’ll annoy everyone with this type of over communication. So many “Reply All” situations have gotten the sender in serious hot water in the office. If your message requires more than one reply, it’s time to take your communication to the meeting room or have a phone conversation.
- Use proper English. Text message acronyms, chat terms, or message shorthand are an integral part of communicating in today’s digital age, but it’s never appropriate in email messages, specially business email. Use proper English for the proper mode of communication tool you are using.
- Capitalize and Punctuate. If your business emails do not have any capitalization or punctuation, you will simply be viewed as lazy. Email messages that are littered with mistakes won’t place you in a positive light in the mind of the recipient. There are no excuses for typos! Use the spell checker and built-in dictionary to polish up your email message.
- Do not use emoticons. Emoticons can be shared between friends in personal email messages. They have their place in text messages and for chatting, but they don’t belong in a business email. If you want to be taken seriously, don’t use them or use them sparingly. ;-)
- Use standard formatting practices. Standard formatting for a business email is clear readable, left-aligned, black, Arial or similar font in a 10 or 12 point size. Following this simple email formatting tip will do the trick.
- Do not attach large or unnecessary files. Attaching large or unnecessary files could get your message to “not pass go and be sent directly to the spam or trash folder.” All email providers and lots of corporate email systems have spam filtering software that review attachments for security reasons.
- Add a disclaimer to all your emails. Any message to recipients that includes sensitive information or are sent outside your company should include a legal disclaimer. The disclaimer will serve as protection for you and/or your company. If you’re also sending images or files that are proprietary, you should say so!
- Keep it short and sweet. Everybody is busy, so your message should be clear and to the point. A precise message is also more likely to receive an immediate response. If you have a lot to communicate, attach a report with details and summarize in your email or build better relationships by communicating details in person or by phone.
- Keep your signature simple. There is no reason to have a novel in your signature. Your basic contact information and a disclaimer will suffice.
Well, I hope that you found this golden list of tips helpful and that you use them in your next email communication.