Email manners matter

March 22, 2013
Email can become overwhelming. It clogs up our inboxes and slows us down. Sometimes, we pound out responses as quickly as possible to clear out our inboxes, giving little consideration to whatever we are writing. This is unfortunate. There is a certain etiquette we really should follow when sending e-mails. When we forget to mind our social manners, we could end up insulting or confounding the recipients of our e-mail missives. Here, then, is a peek at some e-mail etiquette essentials.


Sometimes you can be too brief

When a person receives an email message that merely says “yes” or, worse, “no,” they may wonder if you’re a lttle bit ticked at them. After all, that is a very short response. When sending email messages, be sure to include a little more meat to help make your recipients feel good. Rather than just answering “yes,” you may want to add a, “Thanks for asking” or a “Hope you’re doing well today.” That can make a big difference. If your message is brief because you’re typing it on a smartphone or tablet, make a special email signature that tells recipients that this is the reason for your brevity.


Don’t ignore messages

When your inbox is back logged, it’s very easy to let some messages languish without a reply. You’re simply short on time. However, not responding to an email message from a co-worker, friend or family member is awfully rude. Even if you can’t yet tackle the specific question in an email message, make sure you send back a quick reply explaining that you’re swamped with other tasks but will get to the question as soon as possible.


Take your time

Even the most careful of typists make some mistakes when they write email messages too fast. No recipient likes to receive an e-mail message full of misspellings, incorrect words and typos. Slow down when composing your message. It’s a sign of politeness to take the time to create a clear, concise message.


Keep your voice down

PR firm Ragan advocates you keep in mind your basic offline manners when composing e-mail messages. This means including those magic words in your messages, “please” and “thank you.” Too often, in the rush of writing and sending emails, we forget these niceties. Ragan also warns against shouting in your e-mail messages. To those who don’t know, “shouting” means typing in all capital letters. This looks incredibly annoying on the computer screen.

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