ETIQUETTES

AIM
This is not a "how-to" document, but rather an instructions that offers advice on improving your E-Mail skills

• In the tech savvy world that we live, long forgotten and gone are those days when we wrote letters in those yellow or green post cards! Dear or Respected Sir/Madam and Yours Faithfully are buried deep down in the core of the earth • „The Postman always rings twice' - happens to be a film and probably happens only in the films. The garish red post box has become a piece of rarity.

• But along with these are also gone those etiquettes of letter writing? Are there no prescripts for the electronic mails? Or should we ever care or follow one. if it existed in the first place? • Current day conversations.making them more and more cryptic . chats and less formal emails have become more like short hand .

Purpose Person to whom it is addressed Tone you should adopt Completeness of the message Action required Conciseness of expression .• When you wrote a letter you kept in mind the following points.

(when it is a formal relationship with the addressee and the writer does not know him or her personally). . (iii) Dear Sujata (when the writer knows the addressee personally and the two share a semi-formal relationship). by the following:(i) Dear Sir/Madam (when we are writing to a total stranger whom we do not know at all). (ii) Dear Mr/Ms/Dr/Professor + Surname as in: Dear Dr Sinha.Mode of address or salutation Salutation is the mode of addressing/wishing a person.

With best wishes. if any. Content of letter The content of the letter begins on the next line and is arranged in two or three paragraphs. . Hope to see . Complimentary close and signature Letters usually end politely with the following phrases: Thank you. . This is for quick reference to the subject. Most official letters carried a subject line just above the salutation.• Reference to previous correspondence. With regards.

• We are too busy? If Top CEOs find the time for a run in the morning why cannot you write “Dear” and “Regards” or a “Thank you”.but thrown out of the window.WHAT HAS HAPPENED ALONG THE WAY? • Etiquettes have not taken a backseat. It has taken me 36 secs for this slide .

E-MAILING SIMPLE STEPS .

there are the users who have no idea that the 'Cc' exists. the 'To'. i. First. . In cases such as this the receivers have no clue as to who should take action so either they all do something or they all do nothing. that's not the case. you would think addressing would be trouble free.e. Every address is listed in the 'To' even if the email is only directed to one person. Unfortunately. 'Cc' and 'Bcc' fields.To. Cc and Bcc With only three choices for addressing an e-mail.

Secondly. Lastly. These are the 'cry for attention' crowd. They are the 'Did you see this?' crowd. there are users who never read the names of the people who receive a copy of an e-mail. there are users who feel that every single e-mail should be copied to their entire address book whether it's relevant to those receiving it or not. person X sends an e-mail to persons A. B and C. For example. C immediately forwards it to A and B with the question 'Did you see this?' not bothering to see that X already sent A and B copies .

They are the FYI-ers or CYA-ers.In summary. not your entire universe of contacts. The addresses in the 'Cc' are for the people you are indirectly addressing. Don't over do it here. here's a rough guide on how to populate the address fields: The addresses in the 'To' are for the people you are directly addressing. . Copy only those who need to be copied.

• The 'To' and 'Cc' addresses are blind to the 'Bcc' addresses.• The addresses in the 'Bcc' are like 'Cc' except that the addresses in 'To' and 'Cc' do not know that the addresses in the 'Bcc' are included in the conversation. use of the 'Bcc' is somewhat unethical and therefore its use is discouraged . As you can imagine.

but so does everyone else for a total of 144 messages . but it can generate tons of unnecessary e-mails. if you send a dozen people an e-mail asking if they are available at a certain time for a meeting you should get a dozen replies and that's it.Reply To All The 'Reply to All' button is just a button. if each person hits the "Reply to All' button not only will you get a dozen replies. However. For example.

. so the last thing they want to see is a message from someone who thinks he/she is the next Prem Chand.A Novelist • Messages should be concise and to the point. Nobody has ever won a Pulitzer Prize for a telephone conversation nor will they win one for an e-mail message. • It's also important to remember that some people receive hundreds of e-mail messages a day (yes. Think of it as a telephone conversation. except you are typing instead of speaking. there are such people).

Big deal. not in your punctuation . Don't get caught up in grammar and punctuation.Punctuation !!! ? : . Exclamation points (called "bangs" in computer circles) are just another form of ending a sentence. especially excessive punctuation. . If something is important it should be reflected in your text. . You'll see lots of e-mail messages where people put a dozen exclamation points at the end of a sentence for added emphasis.

In the quest to save keystrokes. such as 'FYI' and „NA'. users have traded clarity for confusion (unless you understand the abbreviations). you run the risk of confusing your recipient. Some of the more common abbreviations are listed in the table below.Abbreviations Abbreviation usage is quite rampant with e-mail. Beyond that. . IT is recommended that you use abbreviations that are already common to the English language.

A SHORT STORY There was this lady who had some issue with her newly bought Digi Cam and had e-mailed her young cousin whose cognizance in the field of electronics is shall we say the 'Any problem solver'? So this cousin of hers mailed back the solution ending his emails with HTH and then With Love. .

making them more and more cryptic. chats and less formal emails have become more like short hand .She understood the technical jargon of the repair procedures but had that nagging abbreviation HTH lingering in her mind so nagging that she mailed her cousin especially to know what is HTH! Well Hope that Helps was not helpful after all for our lady! Current day conversations. .

I expect she would come back with a quick answer use the standard formalities -. If you posed this question to Miss Manners.but I don't know that would you agree.Salutations The question here is "How personal is too personal?" or to be more specific. . how do you open your e-mail: "Dear Sir". "Dear Mr. Smith". "Joe" or none of the afore-mentioned.

it is recommended that you may bypass the standard formalities.In a non-business situation. At most. In the business situation. stick to the formal salutation. use the following as a guide: If you normally address a person as Miss/Mrs. but in general. Each situation will need to be evaluated on its on. If you are unsure. If you normally call them by their first name then either omit the salutation or follow the guideline specified in the prior paragraph. . only include something along the lines of "Dear Virgil" or just "Virgil"./Ms./Mr. Smith then that's the way to address them in e-mail. It's the safest bet. things are much more complicated.

Signatures On a paper document (save a tree... users will sometimes include the same information (minus the signature) at the bottom of their e-mail messages. . Services Since it's not possible (yet) to sign your e-mail. send e-mail) it's typical to close the document with the following: Miss Manners Asset Manager I Will Follow.

especially if it's going across the Internet. Sometimes it can be very difficult to locate your e-mail address in the information that's a part of transmission. Lots of companies use abbreviated names or numbers for employee e-mail addresses and those abbreviations or numbers will mean little to someone not familiar with their significance. this might be part of a letterhead. If your e-mail address is a business address. Normally.This practice is recommended because the originator is not always clear to the recipient. but in the e-mail world letterheads are not used (wasted space). It is also recommend that you include your e-mail address in this information. include your title and company name in the signature. .

Generally. there is no guarantee that their mailbox can handle it. . things are a little different. this is not a blanket recommendation to send attachments of this size. it would up the limit to 5MB. With limits this small you can see that sending someone a 5MB attachment will quickly fill their mailbox and other e-mails to bounce. the only time to send attachments of the 5MB size is when the other party is expecting it. HOWEVER. For users on broadband or a direct connection. Even if user is on broadband or a direct connection. Cause for users on dial-up. However.Attachments Back in dial-up days it is recommended that all attachments be held to 1MB in size. the 1MB limit still applies. in today's ever expanding broadband world.

It Comes From The Office Personal e-mails sent from the office are regarded as official company communications regardless of content and could possibly expose you and your company to unnecessary risk.Send It From the Office. Scary? .

Just remember that everyone sees the world differently. but sooner or later you will run into person ten.“Flames” What is a "flame" or specifically what does it mean "to be flamed?" To be flamed means that you've sent an e-mail to a person (s) that has caused that person (s) to respond in many. . You might send what you think is a harmless e-mail to ten people. Nine people respond in a rational tone while number ten sends you a flame. not-so-nice words. but in other cases you just never know. It's basically a verbal attack in electronic media. You may be lucky and spend your whole life dealing only with the people in the group of nine. Sometimes the reason for a flame is quite obvious (keep reading).

.If you do choose to respond you will probably end up in what is known as a "flame war". This is where two or more people end up exchanging flames for an extended period of time.

.Why do you need email etiquette A company needs to implement etiquette rules for the following three reasons Professionalism: by using proper email language your company will convey a professional image. Efficiency: emails that get to the point are much more effective than poorly worded emails. Protection from liability: employee awareness of email risks will protect your company from costly law suits.

Some rules will differ according to the nature of your business and the corporate culture.Sum Up: The etiquette rules? There are many etiquette guides and many different etiquette rules. A list 32 important email etiquette rules that can be applied to nearly all companies has been explained subsequently. .

Answer all questions. Moreover. Be concise and to the point. An email reply must answer all questions. I . and pre-empt further questions. and pre-empt further questions – If you do not answer all the questions in the original email. Remember that reading an e-mail is harder than reading printed communications and a long e-mail can be very discouraging to read.32 RULES 1. your customer will be grateful and impressed with your efficient and thoughtful customer service. Do not make an e-mail longer than it needs to be. you will receive further e-mails regarding the unanswered questions which will not only waste your time and your customer‟s time but also cause considerable frustration. if you are able to pre-empt relevant questions. 2.

customized content. This is not only important because improper spelling. templates can be used effectively in this way.• 3.e. grammar & punctuation. if your program has a spell checking option. However. . it should also include personal i. why not use it? • 4. grammar and punctuation give a bad impression of you/your company. see next tip. Use proper spelling. it is also important for conveying the message properly. And. Make it personal. Not only should the e-mail be personally addressed. E-mails with no full stops or commas are difficult to read and can sometimes even change the meaning of the text. For this reason auto replies are usually not very effective.

or use preformatted emails. Some questions you get over and over again. and preferably within the same working day. If the email is complicated. If they did not want a quick response they would send a letter or a fax. Therefore. This will put the customer's mind at rest and usually customers will then be very patient . each e-mail should be replied to within at least 24 hours.5. such as directions to your office or how to subscribe to your newsletter. Answer swiftly. 6. Save these texts as response templates and paste these into your message when you need them. Use templates for frequently used responses. Customers send an e-mail because they wish to receive a quick response. just send an email back saying that you have received it and that you will get back to them. You can save your templates in a Word document.

. Use proper structure & layout. Since reading from a screen is more difficult than reading from paper. number them or mark each point as separate to keep the overview. you need to have a good virus scanner in place since your customers will not be very happy if you send them documents full of viruses! 8. Moreover. Use short paragraphs and blank lines between each paragraph. Moreover. the structure and lay out is very important for e-mail messages. 9. it will lose its function when you really need it. If you overuse the high priority option. even if a mail has high priority.7. By sending large attachments you can annoy customers and even bring down their e-mail system. We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf. When making points. your message will come across as slightly aggressive if you flag it as 'high priority'. Wherever possible try to compress attachments and only send attachments when they are productive. Do not attach unnecessary files. Do not overuse the high priority option.

Leaving the thread might take a fraction longer in download time. IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS IT SEEMS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING. If you receive many emails you obviously cannot remember each individual email. Don't leave out the message thread (Debatable).10. When you reply to an email. 11. but it will save the recipient much more time and frustration in looking for the related emails in their inbox! (Previously all letters with on a particular subject was filed separately) . in other words click 'Reply'. This can be highly annoying and might trigger an unwanted response in the form of a flame mail. you must include the original mail in your reply. instead of 'New Mail'. Therefore. try not to send any email text in capitals. Do not write in CAPITALS. This means that a 'thread less email' will not provide enough information and you will have to spend a frustratingly long time to find out the context of the email in order to deal with it. Some people say that you must remove the previous message since this has already been sent and is therefore unnecessary.

If you add a disclaimer at the bottom of every external mail. Apart from this. saying that the recipient must check each email for viruses and that it cannot be held liable for any transmitted viruses. The customer decides to sue your company for damages. 13. Read the email before you send it. since this can help protect your company from liability. It is important to add disclaimers to your internal and external mails. A lot of people don't bother to read an email before they send it out.12. Consider the following scenario: an employee accidentally forwards a virus to a customer by email. . Add disclaimers to your emails. as can be seen from the many spelling and grammar mistakes contained in emails. reading your email through the eyes of the recipient will help you send a more effective message and avoid misunderstandings and inappropriate comments. this will surely be of help to you in court.

One way to get round this is to place all addresses in the Bcc: field. some people place all the email addresses in the To: field. . Mailings > use the Bcc: field or do a mail merge.. 15.14. Only use Reply to All if you really need your message to be seen by each person who received the original message. When sending an email mailing. There are two drawbacks to this practice: (a) the recipient knows that you have sent the same message to a large number of recipients. (b) you are publicizing someone else's email address without their permission. Do not overuse Reply to All.

txt attachment. including Microsoft Outlook. If this is the case. Take care with rich text and HTML messages. use a color that is easy to read on the background. try not to use abbreviations such as BTW (by the way) and LOL (laugh out loud).16. . When using colors. Most email clients however. If you are not sure whether your recipient knows what it means. the sender might not be able to view formatting. The recipient might not be aware of the meanings of the abbreviations and in business emails these are generally not appropriate. In business emails. are able to receive HTML and rich text messages. Be aware that when you send an email in rich text or HTML format. the sender might only be able to receive plain text emails. or might see different fonts than you had intended. the recipient will receive your message as a . Take care with abbreviations and emoticons. 18. The same goes for emoticons. Be careful with formatting. it is better not to use it. such as the smiley :-). Remember that when you use formatting in your emails. 17.

Do not forward chain letters. Do not ask to recall a message. or his/her software might not support it.19. Biggest chances are that your message has already been delivered and read. A recall request would look very silly in that case wouldn't it? It is better just to send an email to say that you have made a mistake. Do not forward chain letters. Besides. Do not request delivery and read receipts. so what is the use of using it? If you want to know whether an email was received it is better to ask the recipient to let you know if it was received. it usually does not work anyway since the recipient could have blocked that function. 21. Just delete the letters as soon as you receive them. This will almost always annoy your recipient before he or she has even read your message. This will look much more honest than trying to recall a message. We can safely say that all of them are hoaxes. 20. .

it is better to mention the actual name of the product. you might be infringing on copyright laws. Use a meaningful subject. Do not copy a message or attachment belonging to another user without permission of the originator. If you do not ask permission first. . 23. Try to use a subject that is meaningful to the recipient as well as yourself. Moreover. even if they are meant to be a joke. Sending an email is like sending a postcard. Do not use email to discuss confidential information. 'Product A information' than to just say 'product information' or the company's name in the subject.22. If you don't want your email to be displayed on a bulletin board. e. 24. don't send it.g. when you send an email to a company requesting information about a product. Do not copy a message or attachment without permission. sexist or racially discriminating comments in emails. For instance. never make any libelous.

Only use this if it is a really. really urgent or important message. sounds better than 'Your order will be processed today'. For instance. The first sounds more personal. whereas the latter. Use active instead of passive (Debatable). Also take care not to send emails that are too long. Email is meant to be a quick medium and requires a different kind of writing than letters. you must at all times try to avoid these types of words in an email or subject line. Try to keep your sentences to a maximum of 15-20 words. 'We will process your order today'. If a person receives an email that looks like a dissertation. Even more so than the high-priority option. chances are that they will not even attempt to read it! . Avoid long sentences.25. sounds unnecessarily formal. especially when used frequently. 26. 27. Avoid using URGENT and IMPORTANT. Try to use the active voice of a verb wherever possible.

the best place for it is the recycle bin. If you receive an email message warning you of a new unstoppable virus that will immediately delete everything from your computer. offensive. the senders are usually not. or offensive remark in an email. defamatory. . The same goes for chain letters that promise incredible riches or ask your help for a charitable cause. racist or obscene remarks. this is most probably a hoax. By sending or even just forwarding one libelous. you and your company can face court cases resulting in multi-million dollar penalties. Even if the content seems to be bona fide. 29. Don't forward virus hoaxes and chain letters. Don't send or forward emails containing libelous.28. Since it is impossible to find out whether a chain letter is real or not.

you can also use the neutral gender: ''The user should add a signature by configuring the email program'. Therefore. Confirming this will only generate even more spam.30. avoid using sexist language such as: 'The user should add a signature by configuring his email program'. Try not to use the cc: field unless the recipient in the cc: field knows why they are receiving a copy of the message. you are confirming that your email address is 'live'. . Apart from using he/she. 32. Don't reply to spam. 31. In this day and age. Using the cc: field can be confusing since the recipients might not know who is supposed to act on the message. Keep your language gender neutral. just hit the delete button or use email software to remove spam automatically. Use cc: field sparingly. By replying to spam or by unsubscribing.

Secondly. employees must be trained to fully understand the importance of email etiquette. This email policy should include all the do's and don'ts concerning the use of the company's email system and should be distributed amongst all employees.How do you enforce email etiquette? (a) Self Imposed (b) The second step is to create a written email policy. .

• IT IS INCUMBENT ON OUR PART AS USERS TO MASTER THE ART OF EMAILING.• E-MAILS HAVE MORE OR LESS REPLACED LETTERS AND ARE TREATED AT PAR OFFICIALLY. .

HAPPY MAILING. .

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