Email Etiquette

 A friend of mine shared  an email etiquette list with me the other day.   I had to laugh at most of what it said. I think I would get a F, if graded. I would like to break it all down in this blog post for the fun of it.

1.Make sure your e-mail includes a courteous greeting and closing. Helps to make your e-mail not seem demanding or terse.

I think sometimes my emails may seem terse. I do not stick with the rules of having a courteous greeting and closing. I guess I am just not that formal.

2. Address your contact with the appropriate level of formality and make sure you spelled their name correctly.

Again, I fail at this one too.

3.Spell check – emails with typos are simply not taken as seriously.

I do spell check, most of the time.

4.Read your email out loud to ensure the tone is that which you desire. Try to avoid relying on formatting for emphasis; rather choose the words that reflect your meaning instead. A few additions of the words “please” and “thank you” go a long way!

Fail at this one. I am really trying to get into the habit of proof reading. I tend to not proof read because I write from my heart, and when I start over analizing everything that I write, I sometimes just end up deleating it altogether.

5.Be sure you are including all relevant details or information necessary to understand your request or point of view. Generalities can many times causing confusion and unnecessary back and forths.

I have no idea where I fall on this one, but I really do like the back and forths! <:o)~

6.Are you using proper sentence structure? First word capitalized with appropriate punctuation? Multiple instances of !!! or ??? are perceived as rude or condescending.

Fail

7.If your email is emotionally charged, walk away from the computer and wait to reply. Review the Sender’s email again so that you are sure you are not reading anything into the email that simply isn’t there.

Hmmm, what is wrong with emotions. I thrive on them!  I don’t think I have ever wrote anyone a rude email though.

8.If sending attachments, did you ask first when would be the best time to send? Did you check file size to make sure you don’t fill the other side’s inbox causing all subsequent e-mail to bounce?

No, I never ask, I had no idea that it was not cool to send people pics, files etc.

9.Refrain from using the Reply to All feature to give your opinion to those who may not be interested. In most cases replying to the Sender alone is your best course of action.

I have never used reply to all.

10.Make one last check that the address or addresses in the To: field are those you wish to send your reply to.

I have mad OCD, so I check the email addy  at least 6 times before clicking send. Just like I check the front and back doors to make sure they are locked, about 6 times each night. lol

11.Be sure your name is reflected properly in the From: field. Jane A. Doe (not jane, jane doe or JANE DOE).

Check

12.Type in complete sentences. To type random phrases or cryptic thoughts does not lend to clear communication.

Fail

13.Never assume the intent of an email. If you are not sure — ask so as to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.

I think I am good about this.

14.Just because someone doesn’t ask for a response doesn’t mean you ignore them. Always acknowledge emails from those you know in a timely manner.

agree 100%

15.Be sure the Subject: field accurately reflects the content of your email.

sometimes it does, sometimes I just don’t know what the subject should be.

16.Don’t hesitate to say thank you, how are you, or appreciate your help!

 Check

17.Keep emails brief and to the point. Save long conversations for the old fashioned telephone.

Nah, I like long emails, its relaxing!

18.Always end your emails with “Thank you,” “Sincerely,” “Take it easy,” “Best regards” – something!

It depends on who I am emailing, whether I end it like this.

19.Do not type in all caps. That’s yelling or reflects shouting emphasis.

This was the first thing I ever learned on the net.

20.If you bold your type, know you are bolding your statement and it will be taken that way by the other side – X10!

I know this too.

21.Do not use patterned backgrounds. Makes your email harder to read.

Yuck! I have friends that do this to me too.

22.Stay away from fancy-schmancy fonts — only the standard fonts are on all computers.

Check

23.Use emoticons sparingly to ensure your tone and intent are clear.

Check

24.Typing your emails in all small case gives the perception of lack of education or laziness.

Check

25.Refrain from using multiple font colors in one email. It makes your email harder to view and can add to your intent being misinterpreted.

Check

26.Use formatting sparingly. Instead try to rely on choosing the most accurate words possible to reflect your tone and avoid misunderstandings in the process.

Fail

27.Don’t forward emails that say to do so–no matter how noble the cause may be. Most are hoaxes or hooey and may not be appreciated by those you send to.

I never send forwards anymore. I think I have twice in the past. I know it is annoying.

28.If someone asks you to refrain from forwarding emails they have that right and you shouldn’t get mad or take it personally.

Check

29.When forwarding email, if you cannot take the time to type a personal comment to the person you are forwarding to–then don’t bother.

Amen

30.Don’t forward anything without editing out all the forwarding >>>>, other email addresses, headers and commentary from all the other forwarders.

Ditto

31.If you must forward to more than one person, put your email address in the TO: field and all the others you are sending to in the BCc: field to protect their email address from being published to those they do not know. This is a serious privacy issue!

Check-but most people don’t do this.

32.Choose your email address wisely. It will determine, in part, how you are perceived.

Check

33.Try not to make assumptions when it comes to email. Always ask for clarification before you react.

I struggle with this, but am getting better.

34.Posting or forwarding of private email is copyright infringement — not to mention downright rude. You need permission from the author first!

check

35.Even though it isn’t right; emails are forwarded to others. Keep this in mind when typing about emotional or controversial topics.

I guess I am trusting, as stated above, I write with my heart!

36.When there is a misunderstanding by email, don’t hesitate to pick up the old fashioned telephone to work things out!

check

37.Know that how you type, and the efforts you make or don’t make will indicate what is important to you and if you are an educated courteous person.

 check

38.If you forward an email that turns out to be a hoax, have the maturity to send an apology follow up email to those you sent the misinformation to.

Check-but I am pretty keen on hoaxs. I know most things are hoaxs on the net.

39.When filling out a contact form on a Web site, do so carefully and with clarity so your request is taken seriously.

check

40.Think of your business email as though it was on your business letterhead and you’ll never go wrong!

check

41.If you cannot respond to an email promptly, at the very least email back confirming your receipt and when the sender can expect your response.

YES! This is actualy a pet peeve of mine.

42.Emailing site owners about your product or service through the site form is still spam. Ask them if they want more info first!

check

43.When replying to emails always respond promptly and edit out unnecessary information from the post you are responding to.

check

44.Formality is in place as a courtesy and reflects respect. Assume the highest level of formality with new email contacts until the relationship dictates otherwise. Refrain from getting too informal too soon in your email communications.

Fail

45.Never send anyone an email they need to unsubscribe from when they didn’t subscribe in the first place!

People do this? Not cool!

46.Be very careful how you use Reply to All and Cc: in a business environment. Doing so for CYA or to subtlety tattle can backfire and have your viewed as petty or insecure.

check

47.When replying to an email with multiple recipients noted in the To: or Cc: fields, remove the addresses of those who your reply does not apply to.

check

48.Never send business attachments outside of business hours and confirm that the format in which you can send can be opened by the other side.

N/A

49.With IM and Chat, try not to be overly cryptic or your meaning can be misread.

Check

50.Use Instant Messaging (IM) for casual topics or informational briefs. IM is not the place for serious topics or confrontational issues.

check

51.Start by always asking if the person you are IMing is available and if it is a good time to chat. Refrain from IMing during meetings or when your attention is required.

check

52.Practice communicating briefly and succinctly.

check

53.Use IM for casual topics or informational briefs. Serious topics are not for IM.

check

54.IMing is not an excuse to forget your grade school education.

  • If you are not a smooth multi-tasker, do not continue multiple IM sessions and leave folks hanging while you communicate with others.
  • Learn how to use the features of your IM program. Specifically your “busy” and “away” message features.
  • Never IM under an alias to take a peek at friends’ or associates’ activities.
  • Take into consideration who you are communicating with to determine the acronyms and emoticons that should be used – if at all.
  • Check to all!

    Email Considerations…

    55.Before getting upset because you perceive someone didn’t respond, check to see if their reply was inadvertently deleted or sent to your Trash or Junk folder.

    check

    56.With emotionally charged emails, wait until the next morning to see if you feel the same before clicking Send.

    check

    57.Feel free to modify the Subject: field to more accurately reflect a conversation’s direction.

    sometimes

    58.When it comes to your email communications, know who you can trust; trust only those you know.

    I have failed at this  in the past

    59.Take the time to review each email before clicking Send to ensure your message is clear and you are relaying the tone that you desire.

    trying to get into the habit

    60.Never use an old email to hit reply and start typing about an entirely new topic.

    check

     

    61.Regardless of how noble a forwarded email may be, don’t just forward without investigating its authenticity @ Snopes.com.

    check

    62.Always add the email addresses of Web sites and new contacts immediately to your approved senders or address book so they get through Spam filters.

    check

    63.Take a quick look at the e-mails in your Trash before you delete them just in case a good e-mail landed there by mistake.

    check

    64.If any email states to forward to all your friends, or just 5 people — do everyone a favor and just hit delete!

    check! I think forwards should be banned entirely!

    65.Double check that your adware, spyware and virus programs are set to automatically update at least once each week so the software knows what to protect you from.

    check

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