While email has offered professionals the opportunity to communicate on a more casual level, it should always be handled professionally. Here are some helpful « dos » of email communication.
Consider your readers:
It is good practice to ask yourself how your readers might react to what you’ve written.
Provide a clear, specific subject line:
Be sure it’s meaningful at a glance. If the recipient has an inbox full of messages, he or she will decide which to read based on the relative importance of senders and subjects. Users often respond to the volume of their email by using filters and rules-based agents. If your message has been filed, the recipient can find it quickly by checking the subject area.
Use excerpts from previous messages to clarify what you’re replying to:
This technique is preferable to quoting an entire message and adding ‘Ok’, ‘Me too’ or ‘I agree’.
Remove long lists of recipients’ names and addresses:
Some of your correspondents might not like having their email addresses made available to other people. Use the ‘blind carbon copy’ feature to suppress the names of other addressees.
Strike a balance between formal and casual language:
Your message creates an image of your company and of yourself. When communicating with upper management or customers, use a business letter format, complete sentences, and a spellchecker. Misspelled or omitted words indicate a lack of attention to detail.
Read and then reread your message before you send it:
Be sure that your message is clear and grammatically correct.
Include your name at the end of your message:
It identifies you as the sender, and it’s common courtesy.
Be careful how you present your message:
Double-check your formatting. Your message may look quite different on your recipient’s screen that it does on yours.
Acknowledge receipt of message promptly:
If you’re going to be out of the office, use auto-response messages.
Observe the common practices of your company: