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10 Email Etiquette Tips

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In the workplace, email is an important form of professional communication. Using proper email etiquette is just as important as observing professional standards in all other forms of communication.

1. Effective Subject Lines

Use an informative, detailed subject line that clearly previews the specific content in the message. This will allow readers to see at a glance what the message is about and make it easy for you and readers to search for the message if necessary.

2. Proper Greetings

Use the recipient's name in the greeting within the body of the message. This creates a professional impression, as well as helps develops rapport and connection. It also decreases the chances readers will assume the message is SPAM.

3. Tone Tips

Read email messages out loud before sending to get a better sense of the tone and consider how the tone is likely to be interpreted. Use your knowledge of how the recipient tends to "take things" when evaluating if messages are appropriate.

4. Message Structure Tips

Use complete sentences, and proper grammar in professional emails. Avoid abbreviations commonly used in text messages. Use proper sentence case, just as if you were typing a letter to mail. Do not use ALL CAPS or excessive punctuation (!!!!)

5. Appearance Considerations

Do not use "fancy formatting" or "colorful backgrounds" these are distracting and may not look the same to the recipient as you. Also avoid using multiple fonts or font colors and avoid emoticons in professional messages.

6. Attachment Etiquette

If you send attachments and don't get a response, check in with the recipient; attachments trigger some SPAM filters. Large attachments should be placed in zip files or compressed before sending, or you can break multiple attachments out over several different emails rather than trying to send all at once.

7. CC with Caution

Avoid copying people who don't really need the email you are sending. Before filling in addresses in the CC line, decide who REALLY needs be included. If you would not photocopy this document and hand it to someone, don't email it to them unless leaving them off would violate a company policy.

8. Reply All

If you are copied on an email and you want to reply to it, use the "reply all" feature with caution. If you just want to tell the sender thank you, just hit reply. Everyone doesn't need to see that and receiving multiple thank you messages - or other items targeted directly at the sender - annoys others.

9. Temper Tips

Never send an email in anger or as an immediate response to receiving information that annoys you. Instead, walk away from emotionally charged messages for a little while and review before sending.

10. Think Before Sending

If you wouldn't put something in a memo or letter, or say it to someone's face, don't send it in an email message.

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