Email Etiquette


  1. Construct your copy list on a need-to-know basis. Be careful in using large distribution lists for highly focused topics.
  2. Use formal language (with complete sentences, business letter formats and correct spelling) and a well-thought-out structure when communicating with senior management or customers. Remember, an e-mail message helps to create an image of you and your company.
  3. Avoid large attachments if at all possible. Background documents of interest to a subset of the recipients can be put on your intranet.
  4. Be prompt in responding to action items. Acknowledge an accepted action item with an e-mail response even if you can’t get to it for a while.
  5. Avoid e-mail wars. Take personal conflicts offline, and handle them privately.
  6. Use auto response messages to notify correspondents if you are out of the office or on vacation and won’t be able to read messages.
  7. Put meaningful data in the subject field. Many users are responding to information overload with filters and rules-based agents.
  8. Don’t use e-mail to highlight negative thoughts about senior management. It can be too easily forwarded or misaddressed.
  9. Observe common practices within your organization. Every organization has a unique culture, and this also applies to e-mail etiquette.

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