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Wax Marketing Blog

Email Communication Don’ts

Please do not forget your manners, even when communicating through email.

With the amount of emails that come into inboxes these days it is important to follow simple email etiquette. Just as if you were talking to someone face-to-face, or via phone, emailing should include polite communication. A good rule, which dates all the way back to your pre-school days, treat others as you would have them treat, or in this case write you.

The “Don’ts” of Email Etiquette

  1. Do not attach unnecessary files. By sending large attachments you can annoy customers and even bring down their email systems. Whenever possible try to compress attachments and only send attachments when they are productive. You may want to use cloud storage services like Hightail (formerly known as YouSendIt), DropBox, ShareFile, Rapidshare, etc.
  2. Do not overuse the “high priority” option or type the word URGENT in the subject. We all know the story of the boy who cried “wolf.” If you overuse the “high priority” option, it will lose its function when you really need it.
  3. Do not write in CAPITAL LETTERS. IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS IT APPEARS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING. This can be highly annoying and might trigger an unwanted response.
  4. Do not overuse “Reply to All”. Only use “Reply to All” if you really need your message to be seen by each person who received the original message.
  5. Do not use email to discuss confidential information. Sending an email is like sending a postcard. If you don’t want your email to be displayed on a bulletin board don’t send it.
  6. Avoid long sentences. Try to keep your sentences to a maximum of 15 to 20 words. Email is meant to be a quick medium and requires a different kind of writing than letters. If a person receives an email that looks like a dissertation, chances are he/she will not even attempt to read it/
  7. Don’t reply to an email message when angry.  You may regret it later. Once the message has been sent, you will not be able to recover it.
  8. Don’t overuse punctuation such as exclamation marks (“!”), as these are meant to be for emphasis. In particular, avoid more than one exclamation mark (“!!”), especially if your email is quite formal. And remember that many mail filters scan messages and consider text with lots of !!!! and $$$ and *** as SPAM.
  9. Don’t use an overelaborate signature in your email message. Never ever use scanned images for a signature, as these tend to be very large files.
  10. Don’t use abbreviations and emoticons. In business emails, try not to use abbreviations such as BTW (by the way) and LOL (laugh out loud). The recipient might not be aware of the meanings of the abbreviations, and in business emails these are generally not appropriate. The same goes for emoticons, such as the smiley :-). If you are not sure whether your recipient knows what it means, it is better not to use it.
  11. Don’t use BCC (Blind Copy). It is considered impolite and involves a big risk. For example, a person who was BCC’d may reply to all, exposing the original sender’s attempt to hide one recipient.
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