December 9, 2009

Surf’s Up – Internet News

…. dedicated to providing information about the Internet.

Email Etiquette Refresher Part 2 of 2

chrisThis is the second of two articles reminding everyone of the importance of etiquette when sending emails from:

By Chris Cournoyer

In my last article about Email Etiquette, I discussed tips on how to be a friendly online communicator with some simple rules. This article will cover a few more concepts about how to continue on the right track of courteous communication.

To, From, CC, BCC, RR, Subject:

  • Include addresses in the To: field for those who you would like a response from.
  • Include addresses in the Cc: field for those who you are just FYI’ing.
  • When addressing emails, only use the Carbon Copy (CC) field when it is important for those you CC: to know about the contents of the email. Overuse can cause your emails to be ignored.
  • Don’t use Return Receipt (RR) on every single email. Doing so is viewed as intrusive, annoying and can be declined by the other side anyway.
  • Make sure your name is displayed properly in the From: field with proper capitalization and spelling.
  • Remove addresses from the To:, CC; and BCc: field that don’t need to see your reply.
  • Always include a brief Subject. No subject can get your email flagged as spam.
  • Think about your motives when adding addresses to To:, CC:, BCc. Use your discretion.
  • Feel free to modify the Subject: field to more accurately reflect a conversation’s direction.
  • Never expose your friend’s or contact’s email address to strangers by listing them all in the To: field. Use BCC!
  • Make sure when using BCC: that your intentions are proper. To send BCC: copies to others as a way of talking behind someone’s back is inconsiderate.

Email Forwarding

  • Don’t forward emails that say to do so–no matter how noble the cause may be. Most are hoaxes or hooey and may not be appreciated by those you send to.
  • Regardless of how noble a forwarded email may be, don’t just forward without investigating its authenticity @
  • If any email states to forward to all your friends, or just 5 people — do everyone a favor and just hit delete!
  • If someone asks you to refrain from forwarding emails, they have that right and you shouldn’t get mad or take it personally.
  • When forwarding email, if you cannot take the time to type a personal comment to the person you are forwarding to–then don’t bother.
  • Don’t forward anything without editing out all the forwarding >>>>, other email addresses, headers and commentary from all the other forwarders.
  • If you must forward to more than one person, put your email address in the TO: field and all the others you are sending to in the BCC: field to protect their email address from being published to those they do not know. This is a serious privacy issue!
  • Be careful when forwarding email on political or controversial issues. The recipient may not appreciate your point of view.

Email and Perception, Privacy, Copyright

  • Choose your email address wisely. It will determine, in part, how you are perceived.
  • Try not to make assumptions when it comes to email. Always ask for clarification before you react.
  • Posting or forwarding of private email is copyright infringement — not to mention downright rude. You need permission from the author first!
  • Even though it isn’t right; emails are forwarded to others. Keep this in mind when typing about emotional or controversial topics.
  • When there is a misunderstanding by email, don’t hesitate to pick up the old fashioned telephone to work things out!
  • Know that how you type, and the efforts you make or don’t make will indicate what is important to you and if you are an educated courteous person.
  • If you forward an email that turns out to be a hoax, have the maturity to send an apology follow up email to those you sent the mis-information to.
  • When filling out a contact form on a Web site, do so carefully and with clarity so your request is taken seriously.
  • If a friend puts your e-mail address in the To: field with others you do not know, ask them to no longer expose your address to strangers without your permission.

Email Considerations…

  • Before getting upset because you perceive someone didn’t respond, check to see if their reply was inadvertently deleted or sent to your Trash or Junk folder.
  • With emotionally charged emails, wait until the next morning to see if you feel the same before clicking Send.
  • When it comes to your email communications, know who you can trust; trust only those you know.
  • Take the time to review each email before clicking Send to ensure your message is clear and you are relaying the tone that you desire.
  • Never use an old email to hit reply and start typing about an entirely new topic.
  • Always add the email addresses of Web sites and new contacts immediately to your approved senders or address book so they get through Spam filters.
  • Take a quick look at the e-mails in your Trash before you delete them just in case a good e-mail landed there by mistake.
  • Don’t mass e-mail people who didn’t ask to be on your personal “mailing list.”
  • Double check that your adware, spyware and virus programs are set to automatically update at least once each week so the software knows what to protect you from.
  • And finally… Type unto others as you would have them type unto you!

Think of your email as though it was on your personal stationary or letterhead and you’ll never go wrong!

Filed Under: Community, Technology

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