Overview of E-Mail Etiquette
* Lesson 3 - USING E-MAIL 3.4 - OVERVIEW OF E-MAIL
ETIQUETTE  Overview of E-Mail Etiquette
Today, a majority of the Internet users use electronic mail to send
messages, both personal and professional. Therefore, it is essential to
realize the importance of e-mail etiquette. E-mail etiquette is the
collective name for a group of guidelines that you should follow while
writing e-mail messages. The following table describes the guidelines that
you should apply while using electronic mail. Scroll down to read each
Tone_. When you write an e-mail message, you should follow the basic
rules of courtesy to greet and acknowledge the recipients. Do not use all
uppercase characters in an e-mail message because such text is considered
rude and can be misinterpreted as shouting. In addition, you must avoid
using offensive and inflammatory language._Grammar and punctuation_. Most
e-mail programs provide a grammar and spell-check feature that can find
errors in your e-mail messages. Missing punctuations can make your e-mail
message confusing. In addition, avoid overuse of punctuations, such as
exclamation points or ellipses, to emphasize your thoughts._Emoticons_. An
effective one-to-one conversation includes use of visual cues, facial
expressions, and body language. In e-mail messages, you can use emoticons
or smilies, which are a collection of characters, to convey your emotions.
However, use emoticons sparingly in business communication.
Cc and Bcc
You can use the _Cc_ field in an e-mail message to mark people who you
want to keep informed. Use this field to include only those people who you
want to send a copy of your message.The people whose addresses you add in
the To and Cc fields cannot view the addresses that are in the _Bcc_ field.
Therefore, the use of the Bcc field is often discouraged.
Each e-mail account has a certain storage limit. Sending e-mail messages
that have large documents, pictures, or other types of files as attachments
may completely fill the e-mail inboxes of the recipients. As a result, the
recipients may not receive any more e-mail messages. In addition,
recipients might have to spend a considerable amount of time to open
attachments of large sizes.To avoid these problems, you can easily compress
the attachments that you send with the e-mail message.
_Length of e-mail messages_. The length of your personal e-mail messages
need not be limited. Professional e-mail messages should be concise and
clear. However, do not use abbreviations or delete necessary details to
reduce the length of your e-mail messages._Formatting attributes_.
Formatting messages with attractive colors and fonts help you create an
interesting and eye-catching e-mail message. However, some e-mail programs
might not support certain formats. Sometimes, richly formatted messages
appear as unreadable characters, which can confuse and irritate people. A
simple solution is to use the default formatting that is available in your
In personal e-mail messages, salutations do not need to be formal. You
can begin your message with salutations, such as Dear or Dearest.In
business communication, ensure that you use appropriate salutations for the
recipients. Formal salutation is the safest to use in your e-mail messages.
A _signature_ is a small section of text that appears at the end of the
message, which contains your contact information. In a hand-written mail,
you can easily add your signature at the end of the document. Similarly, an
e-mail message should include a signature to identify the sender.In case of
personal e-mail messages, the recipient generally knows the sender, and
therefore, a signature is not necessary. However, professional
communication must include clear and precise signatures. You can include
your address, phone numbers, and e-mail address in your signature so that
the recipients can contact you whenever needed. Avoid using fancy
quotations and formatting in your signature.
When you receive any professional e-mail messages, ensure that you reply
to the e-mail messages promptly. Delay in replying creates an impression
that you are disorganized or that you are not interested in the
communication. Additionally, retaining part of the original message in the
reply helps set the context of your e-mail message.When replying to an
e-mail message, you do not need to reply to all the people marked on the
e-mail message unless required.
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