How To Improve Your E-Mail Etiquette
How To Improve Your E-Mail Etiquette
Improve Your E-mail Etiquette. Sure, we all know how to send an email - but do we all know email etiquette? Watch and learn my friend. A twelve step guide to improving your e-mail etiquette.
Step 1: You will need
- A computer that is connected to the internet
- And an email address.
Step 2: Addressing your email
Put the person you are mailing's address in the To: field. If you want others to receive the mail, put these addresses in the field marked CC; which stands for 'carbon copy'. Addresses in the 'To' and 'CC' field are visible to everyone who receives the email.
If you are sending an email to a large group of people who do not all know each other, enter the addresses in the BCC field. This stands for 'blind carbon copy', meaning that each address is not visible to everyone who receives the email. Email addresses are as personal as phone numbers so respect your contacts right to privacy. The downside to this is that the 'To' field is left empty, making the mail feel a little impersonal. But there is a way round this problem - you can use a word processing application to create a mail merge. Consult the help function in you word processing application to see how to do this.
Step 3: Subject box
The subject box is where you title your email. Always fill in the subject box with a concise title summarising the emails content. This is not the place to pose a question or a lengthy explanation. Even if you are just emailing a friend avoid using just 'Hi', 'Please respond' or the recipients name, as these are common indications of spam, and your mail may be shot down b anti-spam software, before the recipient gets it.
A well-titled email will also help your recipient file the mail correctly, and find it again in the future.
Step 4: Greetings
Start your email with whatever salutation you are comfortable with. 'Hello' or 'Hi' is usually a good opener. An email is less formal than a letter so opening with 'Dear' is not necessary, but can be used if it suits the occasion.
Step 5: Content
Keep emails short, focused and conversational. It's good practice to begin with a personal note before delving into the subject.
Remember reading from the screen is more difficult than from paper. Try to limit sentences to 15 to 20 words. Leave a gap in between paragraphs but there is no need to indent them. Keep it brief, a lengthy message will put the recipient off and may not be read.
Step 6: Grammar
Email may be less formal than a letter but that is no excuse for sloppy grammar. The same rules apply as in any written communication. The only exception may be the use of text abbreviations such as BTW - 'by the way', LOL - 'laugh out loud' or FYI - 'for your information'. These abbreviations change and develop all the time, so keep up with the zeitgeist. Remember there is a time and a place for these, it will work when firing off a quick email to a well known acquaintance, but is not appropriate in professional emails.
Avoid using excessive punctuation. You may think it emphasises your point but it can make your comments appear sarcastic, or even condescending. Got it?
Always run your message through spell check, ensuring your spell check is set to your preferred dictionary. Read it carefully before you click 'send' to pick up on any mistakes or typos
Step 7: Text style
Keep emails in simple text, avoiding HTML or enriched text. It may look good on your screen but will be illegible if the recipients screen if they do not have these functions. It will also make replying very difficult.
NEVER EMAIL IN CAPITALS, THIS DENOTES YOU ARE SHOUTING.
Emoticon and smiles can be used to stress your point, but should only be used on informal messages.
Step 8: Replying
Email is an immediate form of communication so reply to emails the same day as your receive them. If you need more time to think about your response, acknowledge receipt of the email and state that you will reply in more detail soon.
Consider whether you need to click 'Reply to All' or just 'Reply', this will avoid a lot of needless