Top 10 rules for good email etiquette

netiquette.gifToday I received an email with a huge picture attached to it which caused me problems to read the message itself, as it completely messed up my browser window. It wasn’t really a problem about the downloading speed (which was an issue in the modem era but not any more) or file size (solved thanks to Gmail’s ever growing storage capacity) but in any case this message reminded me of how important is to stick to certain etiquette rules when communicating with other people by email. Here’s our particular Top 10 in the hope that you always remember them and put them into practice!

  1. First of all, do not forget the subject line. Make it a meaningful sentence also, as it helps a lot to organize messages for people with overcrowded inboxes.
  2. Remember to say hello and goodbye, specially when you’re writing a formal email. A little politeness goes a long way.
  3. If you’re going to send an attached file, add it to the message prior to start writing. It will save you lots of “oops forgot the file” subsequent emails, believe me.
  4. Try reducing the size of attached files when possible. Use ZIP files and resize images to more convenient measures.
  5. Do not write your whole message in caps. This is regarded as yelling on the Internet and it’s very uncomfortable to read.
  6. Use proper spelling. Emails are not SMS messages and there’s no 160-character limit. Do not use too many abbreviations.
  7. If you’re writing to more than one recipient, you can use the BCC field to keep their respective addresses private. This is especially important in business communication, or when you’re trying to keep someone privately ‘in the loop’.
  8. Also, if you’re replying to more than one person, be careful about misusing the “Reply to all” function. Some recipients may be offended at receiving answers that are not pertinent for them.
  9. When forwarding a message, try to keep the text as neat as possible. Don’t be lazy, there’s even an application that helps you deleting all those quoted text markers.
  10. Feel free to forward anything you consider interesting, but please discard message chains about sick children, new viruses and similar topics. These are just hoaxes which end up cluttering your inbox.
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