The etiquette of email

Email is an immediate medium so it is all too easy to think of it as disposable. But it isn't. Make sure you don't offend or embarrass by following simple email etiquette:

  1. Make your subject line clear and descriptive.
  2. Use a professional email address. If it's a personal email, include your name in your email address so it's clear who it is from.
  3. Use 'Reply All' with caution. If you only need to reply to one person on a distribution group, only reply to them. Hitting 'reply all' will irritate everybody on the list.
  4. A work email is a work communication. Bear in mind that emails get forwarded on. Never write anything you wouldn't be prepared to see shared.
  5. Be aware of cultural differences. It might be tempting to skip the formalities with an informal medium such as email but respecting tradition and custom still matters.
  6. Reply promptly. Have a system for dealing with your emails. If you need time to deal with a request, say so.
  7. Proofread every message especially if you have used spellcheck. Just as you would proofread a letter before sending it, treat email with the same care.