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E-mail etiquette for a busy world

Business Technology | April 24, 2014

How many e-mail messages do you send every day? If like most of us, a bunch. Now, are you doing anything to make the recipients of your e-mail angry? There’s actually etiquette involved in sending e-mail messages. If you don’t want to tick off your recipients, you would do well to master these tips for exercising good e-mail manners.

Sometimes you can be too brief

How frequently have you received a very brief e-mail message? It’s not hard to think that the sender is angry with you for reasons uknown. However, suppose the sender was sending your message through an iPhone or iPad? It’s not a simple task to type on small mobile devices. And as a consequence, most of us keep our messages short when typing on those irritatingly restrictive pop-up keyboards. To let readers know that this is the explanation for the brevity, come up with a specific signature for any e-mail accounts that you use on smartphones and tablets. As per the Web site Mashable, this signature ought to tell folks that you’re e-mailing using a mobile device, and that’s why your message is very short. For example “Excuse my brevity; I’m typing this on my iPhone” should do the trick.

Always answer

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

Slow down

We receive so many e-mails everyday, it’s tempting to pound out responses and send them back without proofreading them. After all, that removes at least some of your e-mail clutter. However, this may also result in messages that are filled with typos, something that’s more than a bit off-putting. If you don’t proof your messages, you might accidentally forget to attach that report or photo you are promising. That’s frustrating for recipients.

No shouting, please

PR firm Ragan recommends you remember your basic offline manners when writing e-mail messages. This means including those magic words as part of your messages, “please” and “thank you.” Too often, in the rush of writing and sending e-mails, 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 extremely annoying on the computer screen.


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