I have always said that email has slipped under the marketing and business practices radar and has been able to develop as a rogue form of communication. Just look through your emails and see how many emails break one or more rules of business etiquette.
Well this has to stop. Read through the following do’s and don’ts and see if they apply to you. If you would like a more professional version feel free to contact me. I would also recommend you register and download a copy of 7 Deadly Sins of Email. This publication does an excellent job of teaching you how to make emails more effective.
The following are not in order of importance:
1. Be concise and to the point.
2. Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions.
3. Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation.
4. Make it personal.
5. Use templates for frequently used responses.
6. Answer swiftly.
7. Do not attach unnecessary files.
8. Use proper structure & layout.
9. Do not overuse the high priority option.
10. Do not write in CAPITALS.
11. Don’t leave out the message thread.
12. Add disclaimers to your emails.
13. Read the email before you send it.
14. Do not overuse Reply to All.
15. Group Mailings > use the Bcc: field or do a mail merge.
16. Take care with abbreviations and emoticons.
17. Be careful with formatting.
18. Take care with rich text and HTML messages.
19. Do not forward chain letters.
20. Do not request delivery and read receipts.
21. Do not ask to recall a message.
22. Do not copy a message or attachment without permission.
23. Do not use email to discuss confidential information.
24. Use a meaningful subject.
25. Use active instead of passive.
26. Avoid using URGENT and IMPORTANT.
27. Avoid long sentences.
28. Don’t send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks.
29. Don’t forward virus hoaxes and chain letters.
30. Keep your language gender neutral.
31. Don’t reply to spam.
32. Use cc: field sparingly.
That should make the world a better place.