Email. Goes hand in hand with “The internet”. Everyone has to have an email address, right? Everyone knows how to write a letter, right? Everyone knows how to construct an email? Wrong.
One of my biggest irratations of late, are emails that I receive that people haven’t taken more than 3 seconds to type and click send. It sometimes feel that the person that sent the email, is being extremely rude, but in actual fact, just doesn’t care much about the tone of their emails. It comes down to knowledge. If a person knew better, than more often than not, do better.
So for anyone that uses email, these tips are for you. For those that already know better, if you have any email ettiquette tips, please add them to the comments.
- 1. Address someone specific. When sending an email to a company department, or a grouped email address, use “Hi So-and-so”. More often than not, the person emails asking for help, but there are many people who recieve the email, and invarably no-one responds.
- 2. Write an email like you would a letter. Start with an opening paragraph, write all the content in the body, and end off with a closing paragraph. Paraphrase your email aswell. It makes it easier to read. Obviously if you sending a one line email, then no need, but common courtesy is always nice.
- 3. Use decent signatures. Have your name, job position and contact details in your signature. Also, 2 colours and 2 font size changes max! Thats it. No funny quotes, jokes, wierd pictures, 5 colour names, 3 different fonts etc. If its a personal email, no problem, rainbow style your email, but with business email, keep it professional.
- 4. Make use of the From address field. In your email’s account settings, fill your full name and surname in. It makes it easier for people to recognise where the email is coming from immediately, without having to sift through the entire email to read your name in your signature.
- 5. Use the subject field for the email’s subject! Use a descriptive subject in the least amount of words possible. Do not ask or answer questions in the subject field and especially, NEVER leave the subject blank.
- 6. Make proper use of the Importance field. (The “!” button) The importance of a document should only be set to high, if the email should be brought to the recipients attention immediately. Jokes or simple requests or emails that only need to be opened when the recipient has a free moment, should never be flagged.
- 7. Never delete email. You never know when you are going to need the information or prove that you sent or recieved an email. Make use of mail folders, email sorting and archiving, so your email client doesn’t get clogged, but the simple rule is… never delete.
I hope you’ve learn’t a thing or two from these tips. So why not practice them and send me an email! jason[at]jasonbagley[dot]com :-)