Good email manners

By | April 26, 2011
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We have had hundreds of readers send us pet peeves. Do you know what most of them are? They are about email. Yes, about junky forwards, forwards with everyone else’s address showing up in the cc: field, and many other complaints about the general lack of manners when sending emails.

We started thinking that perhaps many people really don’t know what good email manners, so here are a few (and yes, we know there are many more) reminders to guide you. We’re sure there are more; maybe you can think of some to add.

  • Do not send messages without a subject line
  • Do not send a second email to complain that your first one was not answered quickly enough. Keep in mind some people are not on their computers all day, every day
  • Never type in all caps
  • Never use multiple exclamation points!!!! And never use multiple question marks, such as: “What’s wrong with you????????”
  • Do not click reply to an old message and talk about something completely different from the subject line
  • When responding to an email leave the original message intact.
  • Do not send exe (executable) files in email; many email services will block the email
  • Never pass on warnings or other alerts by email that say “send to all your friends”. The majority of them are hoaxes.
  • Do not use “Spam Challenge” emails  spam filtering and expect people to prove themselves, especially to a company since most companies would not be able to do this. And, spammers could send these same mails and fool people into “proving” they exist for nefarious reasons.
  • Do not use “vacation responders”. Your close friends will know if you are gone; everyone else can wait until you get home. If you really need to access email use a web mail account like Gmail you can access from anywhere
  • Do not use or expect others to allow “read receipts”. If someone wants you to know your mail has been read, they will respond to you .
  • Don’t send mails with cc’s of all your friends;  always use BCC when sending an email to more than one person.
  • Don’t assume because you have a high-speed connection that everyone else does too. There are still some people using dial-up. Nothing is more irritating to those folks than receiving an embedded video they can’t watch, or a huge embedded image that takes them fifteen or twenty minutes to download.

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