Friday, January 14, 2011

What is proper email etiquette?

Email-me-buttonImage via WikipediaWhat is proper email etiquette?: "Thomas Blaikie and Lucy Kellaway debate the proper way to address people in emails"


Pedro's Rules of Business Email:

1. Must follow the same standards in place for WRITTEN communications.

2. Spell check the damn thing, please. It is embarrassing to all parties when an email has unnecessary typos.

3. Be concise. Be specific. Write in full sentences.

4. Check your tone.

5. Check the stupid carbon copy and blind copy lists!

6. If you are complaining about an error, make sure the error isn't yours. It makes you look stupid and somebody will eventually dig out the email to use it against you.

7. Provide relevant information. If you are sending a screen capture, also send the URL of the page, so others can replicate it.

8. Don't hit the send button if you are upset. I am sure 99.99% of all email clients in use have a draft feature.

9. Don't hey people, it's rude.

10. Always use a signature block with your full name, title, company, phone/fax, etc. whenever you contact somebody outside of your organization. NO EXCUSES!

11. Don't curse in external emails, it's childish, stupid, rude and unprofessional.

12. Check rule #5 if you are cursing in an email.

13. Don't be stupid with attachments. Give them real names, not document.doc or document.pdf. If it is big enough, don't email the document, put it in a web folder and email instructions on how to download.

14. Don't break the thread. Once a thread starts, breaking the tread makes it much harder to research issues at a later date.

15. Don't cut people off a thread unless you have a very good reason. The third time I add my project manager and my business manager to the stupid thread, I am hinting at you to stop deleting them, so please stop it.

16. No SMS notation, sorry.

17. Be careful with acronyms with outside recipients, they may not have a clue what you are talking about.

18. Even if you don't need to reply in length, acknowledge receipt.

Pedro's Rule of Personal Email:

1. Rules #2, #4, #5, #8, #13, #17 should apply for most cases.

2. Make sure that you are not copying the same person with multiple addresses. Don't be lazy maintaining your address book, as the same people email from new addresses, ask them for their preferred address and stick to it.