E-MAIL ETIQUETTE http://www.umw.edu/policies/style_guide/computer_terms__email_etiq/default.php http://www.findalink.net/computertips/emailequette.php http://oror.essortment.com/emailetiquette_rmmp.htm
GENERAL GUIDLINES • The subject line should be brief and provide a clue to the contents of the message. • Messages should be concise and to the point. Try to keep messages to 25 lines or less. • If you include a salutation in the message, use one you would normally use in traditional written correspondence.
Style and Grammar • E-mail is more conversational than traditional paper-based correspondence. However, people who do not know you will form an impression of you by reading your message. Think about what you need to say. Keep your intended audience in mind and construct your message accordingly. Reread the message to make sure it is clear before you send it. • Phrase it properly with acceptable grammar usage. Use punctuation only where it is necessary rather than scattering it about for emphasis.
Special characters and Abbreviations • Special characters, fancy fonts and colors are not read the same by all machines. Avoid using them if possible. • Avoid abbreviations, jargon and acronyms unless you are certain those in the e-mail conversation will understand what they are. • Some systems cannot accept attachments or nontext files. It is wise to determine the capabilities of the recipient’s system before sending attachments.
Emphasis • If you must add emphasis, you can (1) put an asterisk (*) before and after a word or short phrase (2) capitalize the first letter of a word or the whole word (using uppercase letters is equivalent to shouting in e-mail messages so use them sparingly) (3) add extra exclamation marks
Sender’s contact infomation • Include your printed name, title and contact information (frequently designated as a signature) at the end of your message. The way e-mail addresses are written does not necessarily make it clear who is sending the message.
>summary of previous message • If you get an e-mail response and wish to keep the conversation flowing, do not start a new e-mail message since this will lose the connectivity of the conversation. Simply reply and keep the exchanges together in the same message. However, you eliminate the need for the correspondentsto review the entire exchange by using the symbol > and keying in enough information from the previous message to indicate to what your response is related.
No receipts • Don't request delivery or read receipts. If you want to make sure that someone received or read an email, pick up the phone. • Do not overuse the high priority option.
Think before you send. • Remember that no e-mail is private. Considering the open nature of the Internet, someone, somewhere probably has the ability to read your e-mail. You have no control over what the recipient of your e-mail does with your message. Do not send an e-mail that you would not want to read in tomorrow’s newspaper.
No angry e-mails • Don't respond to an email when you are angry. Emails can be stored on a computer and/or easily forwarded to other people. If you wouldn't want an email read to a jury or your mother, don't send it. • Do not flame. Expressing extreme anger or emotion in an email is considered flaming.
E-mail messages are permanent even though you can “delete” them from your computer. Someone with skill and knowledge can retrieve them from the system. • E-mail is designed for convenience. Do not expect an immediate response.
Forwards, Jokes, and Spam • Do not forward chain letter, joke, spam (junk mail), chain letters,virus warnings, political, or religious emails unless the recipient has asked to receive them in advance. Even then, never forward emails with crass language, racial epithets, lewd or suggestive material. Such behavior is inappropriate, and if it is forwarded again, it will have your email address immortalized as part of the header.
Mailing list • Don't add anyone to your mailing lists or newsletters without their permission. • Also, don't give out their e-mail address to others that ask for your friend's addresses so they can send them mail. • If you see something that you think a friend may be interested in, send the information to your friend and let them check it out for themselves.
Emoticons • It is not appropriate in business emails to use emoticons such as :) [smile] or :( [frown]. • Do not use acronyms in business emails such as BTW (by the way), IMHO (in my humble opinion), or ROFL (roll on floor laughing).
“Bcc” and “Reply All” • Use Bcc. Bcc is short for Blind Carbon Copy. Bcc recipients will receive a copy of the message, but their email addresses do not show up in the email envelope. Bcc recipients are invisible to each other. Only recipients in the To: or Cc: recipients show up in the envelope. To protect every recipient's privacy, put your email address in the To: box, and put everyone else in the Bcc: box. • Careful with "Reply All." Make sure you do not hit the "Reply All" button when you mean to simply "Reply." Reply All sends your reply to every recipient in both the To: and Cc: fields of the email.
Example of personal e-mails April 13, 2001 Dear Jeannie, Greetings. In a personal letter you can be more relaxed and write in the same manner as you would speak to the person. Just remember to double check your spelling and grammar. Remember to use paragraph breaks, it is very difficult to read long, unbroken sections of text. Close your message to your friend. Your Friend, Rhonda
Pitfalls to avoid in writing personal e-mail letters • Some of the most frequently seen taboos in e-mail messages are not capitalizing words, not using punctuation, not using paragraph breaks or typing in all capital letters (this is considered SHOUTING in e-mail language - don't do it). At the bottom of your message, you should include a closing and your name. Once your letter is complete, you should run your spell checker to check for any spelling mistakes you may have overlooked.
Example of business e-mails Carla Doe 123 Any Street Anytown, America 10002 Phone (555) 555-1000 Fax (555) 555-2000 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org April 13, 2001 Phillip Stranger President Any Business of America 321 Main Street Some town, America 20001 Dear Mr. Phillip Stranger: Introduce yourself and state the specific reason that you are writing. After reading your opening paragraph, the reader should have a clear idea of why you are writing to them. In the next paragraph you can add any additional information that is pertinent to your message. Keep it short and to the point. If you are requesting a response, it is a good idea to mention how you would like to be contacted – by postal mail, e-mail or by phone. Sincerely, Carla Doe
Video of e-mail etiquette • http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-improve-your-e-mail-etiquette http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/USlFeG9_Y5o/ (CBS News with Katie Couric)