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Email Etiquette & Why It Is Important
The reason for email etiquette is to be considerate and knowing good etiquette can help you do that. Email makes first impressions in the same way that letters and personal appearances do. In cases where the only meetings are long distance, email it is extremely important in forming opinions of you or your business. Good email etiquette is the best way to give your company a professional appearance.
Read emails before replying to them. This one can not be stressed enough. There is nothing worse than trying to explain something important to someone who is ignoring you.
Have A Purpose And Stick To It
Use the subject line and stay on subject. Imagine the recipient to busy and get to the point quickly and clearly. Don’t use and an old email with an old subject line just to save looking up and typing the recipients email address. Always do what you can to save the recipients time.
Make Sure Your Purpose Is Worth Interrupting Them For
This means only business, no chain letters, jokes and most importantly no e-cards. Please no e-cards. Send emails only when necessary. There are very few times when you should forward email. Never forward virus warnings, hoaxes and chain letters. Busy people don’t mind if you do not tell them thank you. Respond quickly when needed, other times it might good to let them know you received their email.
Function Over Form
Whether or not the recipient can read your email is far more important than how it looks when they are trying to read it. Send only text emails. This is safest because you don’t know how someone else’s computer is affected by html emails, which are full of pictures and fancy signatures and other non-essential items. Those fancy emails can appear bad or unreadable in some text readers. How would that new client feel if his computer locks up while reading your fancy, full of pictures, email.
Use Proper Spelling, English And Typography
Use your spell-checker, read and re-read. Use capitals only at the first of sentences and first letter of words in titles. Just use one period at the end of a sentence. Stick with one font throughout, there is no need for more than one font in an email. The text should be all the same color and black is best. Don’t use abbreviations unless you are sure the recipient is familiar with them. Remember the purpose is clarity not beauty, function not form.
CC and BCC
Use CC when everyone in the group knows each other and should know who is involved in this conversation. Use BCC to keep email addresses private when sending many copies. BCC stands for blind carbon copy and the other recipients will not know who else is getting the email.
Don’t Require Read-Replies
Ban the words urgent and important from your emails. Never use the words action required anywhere. Their time is just as important as yours.
Try Not To Reply-To-All
Be very careful with Reply-To-All. Don’t send email to a person if they are not part of this particular part of a conversation. When replying to an email with many replies delete the bottom ones to make the email more compact.
Don’t say things in an email you would not say in person.
There will be very few occasions when you should email someone you do not know and have not done business with.
Be extremely careful about sending attachments.
Again be clear, precise and don’t waste anyone’s time.
Use a signature at the bottom that contains your given name, business and contact information.