Email Etiquette

On the web, email will often be your first –or indeed, your only point of contract with other people.  While everyone has their own distinctive writing style, here are a few general pointers about email etiquette…. .

Don’t overquote

       If you’re quoting somebody’s message in your reply, try to quote only the relevant portions of the message and not the whole thing.  For instance, I used to run a website promotion newsletter, and I was forever getting the whole newsletter send back to me with single line saying “thank you!” The thought is appreciated, but not the length of the message!

Treat Email confidentially

If somebody sends you information or ideas by email, you should not assume that you have their permission to pass it around.  Email is one-to-one for a reason: it is designed for personal communication.  Unless you are explicity told otherwise, always assume that email you receive has a big “PRIVATE” stamp on it.

Don’t Dice up Names

      Some people get frustrated when a total stranger writes to them using a shortened version of their name.  I have seen a friend grit his teeth as he reads emails which begin “Hi balls!” His full name is Balaji.  Oh well, you get the message.

Until you know which form of a person’s name they prefer, it’s safer to stick to what you can see in “ public” (on their site or newsletter). Once they’ve replied to your initial email, you’ll know the preferred form of their name by the way they signed off in their email!

Don’t Blast Messages Around Indiscriminately

If you want mail a large number of people (for instance, on a mailing list) Don’t paste all the email addresses into the cc field of your email programme.  If you do that, each person you are writing to will be able to see the email address of all the other people you’re writing to! This can be very annoying, as people usually don’t like to disclose their email address in public.  Always use the BCC (blind carbon copy) function instead.  That way, each person will only see their own email address on your message.

Think Twice Before Sending HTML Mail

If you are sending an important message to somebody, don’t use “HTML “ code in your message unless you are sure that their email program can understand “ HTML “ code in your message unless you are sure that their email program can understand “ HTML “ correctly.  If it doesn’t, your message will become an unreadable mess—not the impression you were intending to give, I’m sure!

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