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Six simple rules for email etiquette

Six simple rules for email etiquette
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
 

Posted: Tue 10th Jul 2012

Email etiquette: email icon

Email is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it can quickly relay information; on the other, careless use of email can just as quickly damage reputations. Mastering email etiquette is essential for modern business people. Matthew Stibbe, writer-in-chief at Articulate Marketing, has put together this short list of email tips to help you avoid some of the pitfalls of electronic communication.

Back in 2010, Lindsay Silberman wrote a great article for Inc. Magazine listing 25 must read email etiquette tips. We don't have space to include all 25 here, but I've picked out six that I think are vital to make sure you get your message across clearly, concisely and politely. 1. Briefly introduce yourself. Never assume the person who you are emailing actually remembers meeting you. Hence, include a simple yet brief reminder as to who you are. 2. Be clear in your subject line. Remember that many email boxes are being clogged by hundreds of emails per day. Hence, your email subject line must be straight to the point as anything that isn't will probably get trashed. 3. Only use an auto-responder when necessary. An automatic response is a great way to tell a spammer that your email address is real. Moreover, it's a great way of telling stangers personal information that you may not want them to have. 4. Your e-mail is a reflection of you. Every single email you send will impact your reputation. Hence, an email that is disorganised and filled with errors will negatively impact your reputation. 5. Pick up the phone. If a topic is complicated or it needs to be negotiated, simply pick up the phone. Moreover, never use email for last minute cancellations of meetings, lunches, interviews and for devastating news as a phone call is better. 6. Don't get mistaken for Spam. An email with a subject line that is in all caps or all lower case or includes URLs or exclamation points will tend to look like spam and be treated as such by a recipient or their email software. If you're a heavy user of email but you're not sure if you're using it properly, Lindsay's entire article is a must read. We'd love to hear your tips, too - please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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 Picture credit: Tim Morgan

 
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