1. Never type in all caps. Typing in all caps is considered yelling. Besides being considered screaming or yelling, studies show that email typed in all caps takes longer to read (really!)
2. Sending the same email to a group of people is seldom necessary. However, if you do find it necessary to send an email to a group of people be courteous. Put all emails addresses of the recipients email addresses in the BCC field. (BCC means – Blind Carbon Copy – this stems from the old days when carbon paper was used in typewriters to create identical copies of a typed document when it was being typed.)
3. Don’t put things like “HELP!!!!” or “READ THIS!!!!” in the subject line. You may not get the response you were expecting – or any response at all. Using subject lines like these is considered childish and rude.
4. Wait – don’t send that reply. If someone sends you a rude, nasty, or vitriolic email never reply to it right away. Take a deep breath and think about your reply or whether you’d be better off deleting it. Some people get angry and send emails they wish they could take back. You may find if you wait you’ll get an apology.
5. Don’t use “Reply to all” unless you really want to reply to all. More often than not, you should use the “Reply” button – not “Reply to all”.
6. Do not use Return Receipt Requested for every email you send just because you enjoy knowing when your email has been read. Sending every email Return Receipt Requested is annoying and intrusive. It would be like sending birthday cards or personal letters to your friends snail mail by Certified Letter – Return Receipt Requested. Use Return Receipt Requested sparingly if at all.
7. Use your name in the Reply to field. Don’t use things like “I love cockatiels” or “American Idol fan” as your reply to name. Cockatiels or American Idol may be cool to you, but maybe not so much to those you send email too. And, don’t forget, you might also being using your email program to reply to companies you do business with. It doesn’t make you look very serious if companies get an email from “I Love Cockatiels”.
8. Do not forward virus warnings, spyware warnings, or rumors that you receive from others. These kinds of emails almost always hoaxes. You can be even more sure that it’s a hoax if the email tells you to forward to everyone you know. Don’t spread these kinds of emails. If you’re not sure if the information is a hoax or not use a site like www.snopes.com to verify the information in the email – or find out for sure if it’s a hoax. Your best bet when you receive these kinds of emails is to delete them – please don’t forward them to others.
9. Always use a subject line that is descriptive. Always start your email with a greeting, like “Hi”, “Hello”, “Good Morning”, “Dear _____”, etc. and end it with a salutation such as “Best regards,” Your friend,” “Sincerely, ” “Thanks,” etc. You get the idea. Some people treat email as if it were instant messaging or cell texting. It’s not. Think of email as if you were actually writing a letter or note to a friend on using pen and paper.
10. Don’t say things in emails that you wouldn’t say to someone in person. Many people say things in email that can be hurtful. And remember – sometimes the written word can be taken the wrong way and not the way you meant it. A good way to make sure you are saying what you mean to say is to read your email out loud. If it sounds harsh when you read it out loud then you know that there’s a good chance your recipient may take your words the wrong way.