A written electronic message sent from computer to computer.

 It is often a requirement of employment for employers to stay in touch with employees in a paperless office. 

Proper conduct or manners for producing an e-mail message is called e-mail etiquette. 

We all interact with the printed word as though it has a personality and that personality makes positive and negative impressions upon us.  Without immediate feedback your document can easily be misinterpreted by your reader, so it is crucial that you follow the basic rules of etiquette to construct an appropriate tone.

1. Use a professional e-mail address Especially on a job application!
Bad examples include:
freehugs@host.com prettynpink@host.com filmstud@host.com airhead@host.com RoCkStAr99@host.com LaserOps5@host.com FrenchQis@host.com hotchick@host.com

Good examples include:
JohnSmith@host.com JohnSmith_architect@host.com sales@companyABC.com jane.doe@it-consultant.com jane.doe@mortages.com

. Always use the Subject line, make it relevant and meaningful 
Without proper subject line your e-mail may be ignored.  Don¶t keep your subject line blank.  Be careful of your Subject line content Here is a bad example of a subject line«

Here is a good example..

3. Make it personal 
It should be personally addressed. It should be customized for the reader. Try not to use auto-replies.

4. Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation 
Improper spelling, grammar and punctuation gives a bad impression of your company. Make proper use of capital letters. Always use the spell checking option in your e-mail

Here is a bad example..

5. Do not write in capitals 
IT IMPLIES YOU ARE SHOUTING!.  It can be highly annoying and might trigger an unwanted response.

6. Respond promptly 
By not responding promptly you appear unorganized, uncaring.  You might lose out on your customers .

7. Be brief and to the point 
Try to keep your sentences to a maximum of 15-20 words.  Take care not to send e-mails that are too longreading an e-mail is harder than reading printed material.

8. Read the e-mail again before you send it. 
Never ³ bash off´ a quick reply without pausing for a thought.  The written word can be misinterpreted because the reader cannot hear the expression in your voice.

9.The use of the CC and BCC fields 

Include addresses in the To: field for those who you would like a response from.  Do not include a person in the cc: field unless you have a particular reason for wanting this person to see your response.  Never expose your friend's or contact's email address to strangers by listing them all in the To: field. Use Bcc: !

Here is a good example of the correct use of To:, CC: and Bcc:

In this example, an email is sent directly to John by Bob. He copies Tom by including Tom's address in the cc: field. Harry and Sue are blind copied - they can see who the original recipients were but Tom and John won't see their names.

But here is a bad one«

Here the sender(s) have simply clicked Forward without thinking about the consequences

10. Do not over use ³Reply to All´ 
Think about whom you want to include in your reply.  Select them or manually type their names.

Here is the result of a number of recipients clicking on Reply to All«

11. Take care with abbreviations and emoticons
In business e-mails  Do not use abbreviations such as BTW and LOL.  Do not use emoticons, such as the smiley.

12. Do not use strange and colorful fonts.

13. Do not use flashy backgrounds 
It might take time to download.  It makes the e-mail difficult to read.  Just leave the background white. Here is a bad example:

14. Don¶t forward virus hoaxes and chain letters 
Don¶t reply to spam  Delete it immediately

15. Attachments 

Make sure your attachments are virus-free.  Compress attachments before sending  Send attachments only when they are productive.  Do not forget to attach the file!

16. Set flags in e-mails to organize them
Flags in MS Outlook can be used in the following ways:     Flags can remind you to follow up on an issue. Indicate a request for someone else. Set a reminder for a message or contact. They help in organizing your e-mail.

17.Do let people know that their mail has been received 
Your sender may be worried  Let them know you got the mail

18. Set your system clock right 
Make sure you don't send messages from 1981!

19. End e-mails with ³Thanks´ 
Always end your emails with "Thank you," "Sincerely," "Take it easy," "Best regards" etc.

.

20.Do not leave off your signature 
Always close with your name  Add contact information such as your phone, address etc.  Creating a formal signature block with all that data is the most professional approach.

Here¶s an example: 

Basically, you must keep in mind that there is a human being at the other end of your email messages. Use the same manners as if you were talking to them in person.  For most conversations, keep your messages short and to the point too, as it is common for person's eyes to get tired from looking at a computer screen.

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