EMAIL ETIQUETTE

This essay has a total of 970 words and 4 pages.

EMAIL ETIQUETTE

Email etiquette refers to a set of dos and don'ts that are recommended by business and
communication experts in response to the growing concern that people are not using their
email effectively or appropriately. Since email is part of the virtual world of
communication, many people communicate in their email messages the same way they do in
virtual chat rooms: with much less formality and sometimes too aggressively. Email
etiquette offers some guidelines that all writers can use to facilitate better
communication between themselves and their readers. One overall point to remember is that
an email message does not have non-verbal expression to supplement what we are "saying."
Most of the time we make judgments about a person's motives and intentions based on their
tone of voice, gestures, and their proximity to us. When those are absent it becomes more
difficult to figure out what the message sender means. It is much easier to offend or hurt
someone in email and that is why it is important to be as clear and concise as possible.

Electronic mail (E-mail) cannot replace personal contact. David Angell states that
electronic email has many advantages, "…eliminates phone tag, …breaks down the
distance and time barriers of telephone calls and traditional written communication,
…shortens the cycle of written communication, …improves productivity, …creates
flexibility…by reducing telephone interruptions." (Angell-Heslop 2). There is a tendency
to be less formal or careful, which can sometimes provoke anger. Remember that direct,
person-to-person contact is best for handling sensitive, difficult, complex, or

emotional issues. Therefore, a company needs to implement etiquette rules for the
following three reasons: professionalism, by using proper email language your company will
convey a professional image, efficiency, emails that get to the point are much more
effective than poorly worded emails, and protection from liability: employee awareness of
email risks will protect your company from costly law suits. There are many etiquette
guides and many different etiquette rules. Some rules will differ according to the nature
of your business and the corporate culture. A few of these rules are to be concise and to
the point, answer all questions, pre-empt further questions, use proper spelling, grammar
& punctuation, answer swiftly, do not attach unnecessary files, do not write in all
capitals, and read the email before you send it.

When writing an email, indicate the specific topic of your mail message in the subject
field. Clear subject headings make everyone's lives easier, helping with prioritizing,
filing, cataloging, cross-referencing, and retrieval. Samantha Miller states that you
should keep your subjects short because "A complete sentence will betray you as an email
beginner, and many e-mail programs cut off a subject after forty characters…A few words,
or one well-selected one are best." (Miller 3). Keep your message focused. If a new topic
is introduced it should be under a separate message with a new subject heading. Try to
keep in mind that writing styles may cause some messages to come across as sounding abrupt
or even antagonistic when that is not the intention of the sender. Take time to read and
fully comprehend what has been written before you reply, especially if the message
provokes a strong emotional response. One important thing when you think that you might
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