Electronic Communication Etiquette

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Basic electronic communcation course

Basic electronic communcation course

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  • Welcome to the Email Etiquette Workshop. This presentation was designed in response to the growing need for information on how to craft appropriate email messages. Anyone who uses email (regardless of regularity or purpose) will find this information useful.Taken from Email Etiquette Workshop, Purdue University Writing Lab 2001, 2002Contributions from the following sources: Angell, David, and Heslop, Brent. The Elements of Email Style: Communicate Effectively via Electronic Mail. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1994.Bailey, Jr., Edward P. The Plain English Approach to Business Writing. New York: University Press, 1990.Caudron, Shari. “Virtual Manners.” Workforce 79.2 (2000): 31-34.http://www.penmachine.com/techie/emailtrouble_2003-07.htmlhttp://www.dcn.org/help/internet/netiquette.htmlhttp://www.emailreplies.com/
  • •Professionalism: by using proper email language the organization will convey a professional image. •Efficiency: emails that get to the point are much more effective than poorly worded emails. •Protection from liability: employee awareness of email risks will protect the organization from costly law suits. Email is prevalent in most people’s lives and many use it to cheaply and quickly communicate with friends, family, and co-workers. Although this technology is available to everyone, and most people are accustomed to using email, many people still are not knowledgeable when it comes to understanding how email functions in a relationship both personally and professionally. How we interpret email: While most people are aware that the computer is not a person and that emails do not have a character of their own, some still react as though they do. Readers assign meaning to everything people write and tend to perceive it as concrete because it is in “black and white”. This response, coupled with a lack of nonverbal cues, poses a serious challenge for email writers. It is easy for emails to be misinterpreted because people write as though they are having a conversation; however, the receiver does not read that way. How many times have you received an email and felt a little put off by the message even though it was from a good friend? Have you ever sent an email that upset or confused someone? What was it like to be in that situation and what did you do to clear up the misunderstanding? It is because of these uncomfortable situations that some ground rules on email etiquette are necessary and why email writers should be mindful of them.
  • That doesn't mean that all e-mail messages have to be short, but that in e-mail even more than in print, you should say only what you need to say. Get rid of extraneous material whenever possible. Be concise and to the point. Do not make an e-mail longer than it needs to be. Remember that reading an e-mail is harder than reading printed communications and a long e-mail can be discouraging to read.
  • Try to keep your sentences to a maximum of 15-20 words. Email is meant to be a quick medium and requires a different kind of writing than letters. Also take care not to send emails that are too long. If a person receives an email that looks like a dissertation, chances are that they will not even attempt to read it!
  • If your paragraphs exceed 7 or 8 lines, look at them to see if you can break them somewhere in the middle. Make your messages \"concise,\" not cryptic. Shorter paragraphs have more impact and are more likely to be read by busy people. Most people can only grasp about seven ideas at once. This means ideas in a paragraph, major sections, etc...
  • Business experts often refer to this kind of summary either as an elevator summary or an executive summary. Either terminology is correct. An elevator summary is a summary that can be given to a colleague or employer in the short time it takes to get from the ground floor to the third floor on an elevator. It has the bare essentials of the message. Why a summary? We all know what it is like to inundated with email, so much so that is difficult to figure out what emails have priority over others. If there is a brief summary at the top readers can make a decision about whether to save the email for later or finish it at that time. If the reader needs to respond immediately to the email then that should be conveyed in the first paragraph; otherwise, that message may be overlooked and the writer will not receive the response as quickly as one is needed. Bottom line: BLUF or Bottom Line Up Front. Get to the point early in your email.
  • When posting a response, summarize the parts of a message or article to which you are responding. Summarizing allows readers to remember what the original article said and to appreciate your comments better.
  • The table of contents is a friendly gesture toward readers when they are required to read long messages. It allows them to skip to the sections of the email that apply to them and avoid those areas that do not.
  • The subject line of an electronic message enables a person with limited amount of time to decide whether to read your message or article. As a courtesy to others, indicate what the message is about before they take the time read it. Try to use a subject that is meaningful to the recipient as well as yourself. For instance, when you send an email to a company requesting information about a product, it is better to mention the actual name of the product, e.g. 'Product A information' than to just say 'product information' or the company's name in the subject. Use sensible subject lines. If you're starting a conversation, make the subject line short (maximum 40-50 characters if you can) but informative. \"Subject: Billie Burke\" doesn't tell me much. Has she been fired? Promoted? Is she dead? Is it her birthday? Did she have a baby? Is she away from her desk for 15 minutes? Are we clarifying that it's \"Burke\" with an e? \"Subject: Birthday card for Billie Burke\" helps a lot. If you're participating in an already-going conversation, keep the subject line the same (unless the original one was terribly inappropriate), with a \"Re:\" in front, unless the topic has changed and the conversation thread needs a new name. You may truncate long subject lines—especially any ending bits referencing a previous subject such as \"(Was: Quilts and comforters)\"—and should delete multiple \"Re:\", \"FW:\", and other such repeated prefixes
  • The main point is to help participates understand the importance of tone. These are ways to create a document that sounds friendly and “nonverbally” open. While it is important to follow rules of punctuation and grammar in email, using contractions can create a conversational style that isn’t intimidating. Remind students that tone is dependent on audience -- an email to a co-worker might have a substantially different tone than email to a boss. Ask them to think about situations and determine appropriate tones for them.
  • Explanation: The main point of this slide is to help participates understand the importance of tone. These are ways to create a document that sounds friendly and “nonverbally” open. While it is important to follow rules of punctuation and grammar in email, using contractions can create a conversational style that isn’t intimidating.Remind students that tone is dependent on audience -- an email to a co-worker might have a substantially different tone than email to a boss. Ask them to think about situations and determine appropriate tones for them. *Angell and Heslop
  • 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.
  • If you're replying to a particular person but sending the reply to a whole mailing list, it might be useful to include that person's name, e.g. \"Lee, I think you might have missed a comma there.\"
  • Electronic communication tends to lead to a writing style much less formal than that normally used in paper documents. However, electronic messages are just as permanent as paper documents and may be read by more individuals. Many people will know you only by what you say and how well you say it. They may someday be your coworkers or friends. Take time to make sure no electronic communication embarrasses you later. Minimize spelling errors and make sure that the message is easy to read and understand.
  • Not only should the e-mail be personally addressed, it should also include personal i.e. customized content. For this reason auto replies are usually not very effective.
  • As with written text, informal e-mails, particularly between individuals, might make do with a simple \"- Derek\" or even \"D.\" at the end of a message. Otherwise, try to include at least your full name and e-mail address. For full signatures, keep them fairly short. The old rule was 4 lines or less, but I don't follow that. If you're coming up on 10 lines, including witty quotation, that's pushing it, especially if the message you're sending is only 3 lines
  • Try to use the active voice of a verb wherever possible. For instance, 'We will process your order today', sounds better than 'Your order will be processed today'. The first sounds more personal, whereas the latter, especially when used frequently, sounds unnecessarily formal.
  • 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. Moreover, even if a mail has high priority, your message will come across as slightly aggressive if you flag it as 'high priority'. High Priority email and mail processing: NEVER use High priority to send to “Everyone”! High priority mail is processed first, before any other mail messages and can make a negative impact on e-mail processing. Low priority messages are processed last, after other email messages.
  • Even more so than the high-priority option, you should, at all times, try to avoid these types of words in an email or subject line. Only use this if it is a really, really urgent or important message.
  • This slide provides examples of poor choices for prioritizing information and shows ways to construct messages that are not blaming or ambiguous. The term “weasel words” was coined by Angell and Heslop to describe words that appear cowardly, ambiguous, or indirect in an effort to ward off or stall potentially negative repercussions. Deliver the news up front:“We are unable to order new computers this quarter due to budget cuts.”Avoid blaming:“I think it will be hard to recover from this, but what can I do to help?”Avoid using “weasel words” or hedging:“Our pricing structure is outdated.”More examples of hedging are:“Intents and purposes”“Possibly,” “ most likely”“Perhaps,” “maybe”
  • Since reading from a screen is more difficult than reading from paper, structure and layout are very important for e-mail messages. Use short paragraphs and blank lines between each paragraph. When making points, number them or mark each point as separate to keep the overview.
  • Alert: People may become confused about how to accomplish this. Most emails will generally account for this now.In MS Outlook:Tools, OptionsMail Format tabInternet Format buttonPlain Text OptionsDefault is 76 charactersReminder: If the message is likely to be forwarded it should be less than 60 characters so that it will work with anyone’s email software.
  • Mouse-click to activate textExplanation: This is one of many ways to organize information within an email document. It’s an effective way to make the information flow more logically and it helps the reader to know the proper order of the information in the email in a very clear and concise way.*Angell and Heslop
  • Put double spaces between paragraphs, and don't indent. Those are print conventions, and e-mail doesn't necessarily work that way. Keep text flush-left, ragged-right, since other forms of indenting and justification likely won't come through to the other end.
  • This is not only important because improper spelling, grammar and punctuation give a bad impression of your organization, it is also important for conveying the message properly.
  • Use a spell checker, read over each e-mail at least once before you send it, and make sure the recipients are correct. If you can afford to wait a few minutes and come back to read over your outgoing messages, so much the better.
  • Be aware that when you send an email in rich text or HTML format, the sender might only be able to receive plain text emails. If this is the case, the recipient will receive your message as a .txt attachment. Most email clients however, including Microsoft Outlook, are able to receive HTML and rich text messages. Use plain text. Avoid HTML, rich text (RTF), and non-ASCII characters. To put that in non-jargon form, if your e-mail program lets you use boldface, italics, colors, characters with accents or that you otherwise can't see on a North American English keyboard (such as en- and em-dashes or curly quotes), turn those features off. Check the options for your e-mail program and either disable all rich-text and HTML features or examine the address book and set your mailing lists so that you send only plain text messages to them. E-mail sent to multiple recipients should be plain text because there's a good chance anything else will get gorped up in transit or display poorly at the other end. While you might see pretty boldface and other formatting, your recipients often see raw HTML markup code, bizarre characters, or, in bad cases, nothing at all. Outlook Settings 1. Tools, Options 2. Mail Format tab 3. Internet Format button 1. Plain Text Options 2. Default is 76 characters
  • When referencing e-mail or web addresses, make sure they are cleanly separated from other text. Web addresses (URLs) should sit on a separate line if possible, and be pre-pended with the http:// identifier to help ensure they're \"clickable\" at the other end, while e-mail addresses do not require the mailto: prefix:http://www.penmachine.com dkmiller@penmachine.com When putting e-mail and web addresses inline into a sentence (or, in fact, anytime), you might wish to enclose them in <angle brackets>, especially to avoid problems where they might absorb surrounding punctuation into becoming underlined and clickable, such as at the end of a sentence: <dkmiller@penmachine.com>. Angle brackets are also useful for long URLs that break across lines: <http://www.penmachine.com/photoessays/2002_06_aerial/ Pages/10.html> Note: In Outlook, links are generally indicated by blue text and underline. However, if this doesn’t happen, select the URL, press CTRL-C to copy, then InsertHyperlinkPaste (CTRL-V) into the URL textbox.
  • Rather than typing in numerous email addresses in the “To:” line, create mailing list groups so that there is only one address. It is okay to have three mailing groups included but writers should not include any more than that. How do I set up a list? Click Contacts tab Click drop down arrow next to “New”Select Distribution List Type a name for the list Click “Select Members” to add contacts from Global Address Book or Contacts Click “Save & Close” when finished.
  • An email reply should answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions – If you do not answer all the questions in the original email, you will receive further e-mails regarding the unanswered questions, which will not only waste your time and your customer’s time but also cause considerable frustration. Moreover, if you are able to pre-empt relevant questions, your customer will be grateful and impressed with your efficient and thoughtful customer service. Imagine for instance that a customer sends you an email asking which credit cards you accept. Instead of just listing the credit card types, you can guess that their next question will be about how they can order, so you also include some order information and a URL to your order page. Customers will definitely appreciate this.
  • Credit the information to the people who sent it to you, where possible. Take time to back up your statements with references to articles and documents just as you would in standard written material
  • A lot of people don't bother to read an email before they send it out, as can be seen from the many spelling and grammar mistakes contained in emails. Apart from this, reading your email through the eyes of the recipient will help you send a more effective message and avoid misunderstandings and inappropriate comments.
  • Before replying to a mailing list, ask yourself seriously whether your reply would be better going just to one person, or to a few, or not at all. Actually read the To:, Cc:, and Bcc: fields in your outgoing e-mail window, to make sure that you're not replying to a list when you want to reply to an individual, or vice versa. (Also make sure you're sending to the correct \"Jim\" in your address book, for example, or you could be in for some embarrassment.) Again, avoid \"me too!\"—have something constructive to add. If someone's conducting a straw poll, reply only to that person and let him or her summarize the results, unless you have additional comments for the entire list. Posting everyone's individual vote without any detail or commentary is essentially just noise. We like to think everyone should be included in a discussion, but often we achieve the opposite by making a conversation so lengthy and content-free that people tune out.
  • Try not to use the cc: field unless the recipient in the cc: field knows why they are receiving a copy of the message. Using the cc: field may be confusing since the recipients might not know who is supposed to act on the message. Also, when responding to a cc: message, should you include the other recipient in the cc: field as well? This will depend on the situation. In general, do not include the person in the cc: field unless you have a particular reason for wanting this person to see your response. Again, make sure that this person will know why they are receiving a copy.
  • When sending an email mailing, some people place all the email addresses in the To: field. There are two drawbacks to this practice: (1) the recipient knows that you have sent the same message to a large number of recipients, and (2) you are publicizing someone else's email address without their permission. One way to get round this is to place all addresses in the Bcc: field. However, the recipient will only see the address from the To: field in their email, so if this was empty, the To: field will be blank and this might look like spamming. You could include the mailing list email address in the To: field
  • When you reply to an email, you should include the original mail in your reply, in other words click 'Reply', instead of 'New Mail'. Some people say that you must remove the previous message since this has already been sent and is therefore unnecessary. If you receive many emails you obviously cannot remember each individual email. This means that a 'thread-less email' will not provide enough information and you will have to spend a frustratingly long time to find out the context of the email in order to deal with it. Leaving the thread might take a fraction longer in download time, but it will save the recipient much more time and frustration in looking for the related emails in their inbox!
  • It is considered rude not to respond to an email as soon as possible. Writers should strive to respond to emails as quickly as they would a phone message, which tends to be immediately. If the email requires a longer message than the writer is able to provide at that moment, it is considered proper etiquette to let the sender know that the message was received and that the writer is planning to respond as soon as time permits. Customers send an e-mail because they wish to receive a quick response. If they did not want a quick response they would send a letter or a fax. Therefore, each e-mail should be replied to within at least 24 hours, and preferably within the same working day. If the email is complicated, just send an email back saying that you have received it and that you will get back to them. This will put the customer's mind at rest and usually customers will then be very patient!
  • Explanation: Attachments can sometimes cause more headaches than help, and it can be difficult for the recipient(s) to figure out why they are unable to download an attachment. One way to help is to provide all of the important information about the file so that the recipient can trouble shoot to something more serious if there is a problem other than incompatibility.Douglas County limits attachment size to no bigger than 3 Mb. If the file is any bigger, the sender should use the Douglas County FTP site to share the file with the recipient. If the recipient is INSIDE the County, other methods should be used, such as a USB Thumb drive or the G:/ drive. (If the G:/ drive is used, be sure to delete or move the file to another un-shared location. Do NOT leave files on the G:/ drive for anyone to access…Also, it’s important that the recipient know that the sender meant for an attachment to be included with the message, and what kind of attachment it is, since opening unknown attachments could cause serious damage to the recipient’s system and spread viruses further. Always check any attachments you are going to send for viruses, and never open unknown attachments!
  • Large files can really clog the e-mail pipe for anyone with a dialup connection. If you need to send an attachment, send it only to those who really need it, and if it is at all large (more than maybe 100 K), check with them first to see if they actually want it and are ready to receive it.
  • Sending attachments successfully seems to be the hardest thing for most people in the world of e-mail, so if you do send one, be prepared for the recipient not to receive it properly, and to do some troubleshooting.
  • Wherever possible try to compress attachments and only send attachments when they are productive
  • Sensitivity: Try to be sensitive and not to provoke others. E-mail doesn't have the subtleties of spoken or face-to-face conversation, and it's remarkably easy to be misunderstood or to offend someone. One study indicated that communication is 7 percent the words used, 38 percent voice inflections, and 55 percent facial expressions and body language. In other words an e-mail only conveys 7 percent of our intended communication.
  • Email is Public: E-mail is not private, nor is it ephemeral. Expect what you write to be in public (or at least semi-public) view, or to be able to get there if someone goes hunting or gets a search warrant.
  • Humor and Sarcasm: Without the voice inflections, facial expressions and body language of personal communications, it is easy for a remark meant to be funny to be misinterpreted. Subtle humor tends to get lost in electronic communication; so avoid it or take steps to make sure that people realize you are trying to be funny, if that is the intent. People use a sideways smiling face, \":-)\", to point out sections of articles with humorous intent.
  • Expressions of Anger: Again, because electronic communication has the informal properties of conversation without the corresponding benefits of voice inflection, facial expressions and body language, messages are often misconstrued and generate unexpected angry responses called “flames.\" The ability to respond immediately to a message often leads to a hasty response. If a message or article generates negative emotions, you should set it aside and reread it later. Or, you might ask for feedback on its content from a colleague. Take time to calmly respond to the message from the stance that there may be a misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Ask for clarification on inflammatory statements.
  • What you say about others: Think twice before you post personal information about yourself or others. Your message gets circulated, and it could quite possibly end up in the electronic mailbox of your boss, your friend's boss, your girl friend's brother's best friend, etc., etc. Information posted on the network can come back to haunt you or the person you are talking about.
  • Many people become frustrated with a co-worker, boss, or office policy and have the need to vent that frustration. However, there are some serious problems with flaming and it should be avoided. Activity: (read the following email to the audience) “I am so sick and tired of all the crap that goes on in this office. Judy is the most annoying person that I’ve ever known and she hardly ever gets her work done in a timely manner and I’m tired of watching her do nothing. Besides that, every time I try and get help Larry just acts like there isn’t a problem. I am SO CLOSE TO QUITTING! I swear that if someone says another thing to me I am out the door honestly. The procedures in here are only for certain people and the rest are favorites. As a matter of fact, I don’t even think this problem can be solved until Judy is fired.” Discussion: Have the audience think about the ramifications of sending this email. Who will be hurt? How? What could have been done by the writer earlier to avoid this build up of frustration? Might the writer have some legitimate concerns that are masked by his or her anger? What might be a better way to write about those concerns? Explanation: When responding to a flame, the respondent must do his or her best to remain professional and neutral. Emails are infamous for creating misunderstandings. Try to be as clear as possible and as empathetic as possible. If none of the above tactics work then it is most appropriate to take this concern outside of the electronic sphere and into the traditional interpersonal (face to face) sphere.
  • Explanation: Not all messages are best delivered via email. There are many instances when one should stop and say, “It’s time to meet or talk in person because we’ve gotten as far as we can through email.”Generally, most people are agreeable to talking in person. Reminder: Because of the facelessness of email there are a number of misunderstandings and misperceptions that can occur.

Transcript

  • 1. Electronic Communication Tips, Etiquette, Technical Considerations
  • 2. Why is email etiquette important?  We all interact with the printed word as though it has a personality and that personality makes positive and negative impressions upon us.  Without immediate feedback a document can easily be misinterpreted by its reader, so it is crucial that to follow basic rules of etiquette to construct an appropriate tone.
  • 3. The elements of email etiquette  Style/Tone  Formatting  Replying and Forwarding  Technical Considerations  When Not to use Email  Other considerations
  • 4. Style/Tone
  • 5. Style/Tone  Keep messages short  Use the Appropriate Degree  Avoid long sentences of Formality  Short paragraphs  Make it personal  Elevator Summary and  Sign your messages Table of Contents  Use active instead of  Subject Line passive voice  Tone  Avoid using URGENT and  Avoid jargon terms or IMPORTANT. abbreviations  Do not overuse the high priority option.  Salutations  Weasel Words
  • 6. Keep messages as short as possible  Get rid of extraneous material whenever possible
  • 7. Avoid long sentences  Email is meant to be a quick medium and requires a different kind of writing than letters.
  • 8. Make your paragraphs shorter than you would in print  Shorter paragraphs have more impact and are more likely to be read by busy people.
  • 9. Elevator Summary  BLUF or Bottom Line Up Front. Get to the point early in your email.
  • 10. Summarize What You are Responding To
  • 11. Table of Contents  The table of contents is a friendly gesture toward readers when they are required to read long messages. It allows them to skip to the sections of the email that apply to them and avoid those areas that do not.
  • 12. Subject Line  As a courtesy to others, indicate what the message is about before they read it.  It is better to mention the actual name of the product, e.g. 'Product A information' than to just say 'product information' or the company's name in the subject.  If you're participating in an on-going conversation, keep the subject line the same with a quot;Re:quot; in front (unless the original one was terribly inappropriate).
  • 13. Tone  Tone is dependent on audience -- an email to a co-worker might have a substantially different tone than email to a boss.
  • 14. Tone • Write in a positive tone • Use smiles , winks ;), “When you complete the and other graphical report.” instead of “If you symbols only when complete the report.” appropriate. • Avoid negative words • Use contractions to add that begin with “un, non, a friendly tone. ex” or that end with (don’t, won’t, can’t). “less” (useless, non- existent, ex-employee, undecided).
  • 15. Take care with abbreviations and emoticons  In business emails, try not to use abbreviations such as BTW (by the way) and LOL (laugh out loud).  The same goes for emoticons, such as the smiley :-).
  • 16. Salutations  If you're replying to a particular person but sending the reply to a whole mailing list, it might be useful to include that person's name, e.g. quot;Lee, I think you might have missed a comma there.quot;
  • 17. Use the Appropriate Degree of Formality  Many people will know you only by what you say and how well you say it. This is especially true in email.
  • 18. Make it personal  Not only should the e-mail be personally addressed, it should also include personal, i.e. customized, content.
  • 19. Sign your messages  As with written text, informal e-mails, particularly between individuals, might make do with a simple quot;- Derekquot; or even quot;D.quot; at the end of a message.  Otherwise, try to include at least your full name and e-mail address.
  • 20. Use active instead of passive  'We will process your order today', sounds better than 'Your order will be processed today'.
  • 21. Do not overuse the high priority option.  We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf – Never use High Priority to send to “Everyone”
  • 22. Avoid using URGENT and IMPORTANT in Subject Line  Only use this if it is a really, really urgent or important message
  • 23. Weasel Words  Words that appear cowardly, ambiguous, or indirect in an effort to ward off or stall potentially negative repercussions
  • 24. Formatting
  • 25. Formatting: The Basics  Proper structure and  HTML vs. Plain Text layout  Abbreviations & – Line Breaks emoticons – Paragraph Formatting  Make links clickable – Use Proper Grammar & Punctuation  Set up Distribution Lists  Spell Check
  • 26. Use proper structure & layout.  Since reading from a screen is more difficult than reading from paper, structure and layout is very important for e-mail messages.
  • 27. Formatting  Try to keep your line length at 80 characters or less.  If your message is likely to be forwarded, keep it to 60 characters or less.  Set your email preferences to automatically wrap outgoing plain text messages.
  • 28. 1. Tools, Options 2. Mail Format tab 3. Internet Format button • Plain Text Options • Default is 76 characters Reminder: If the message is likely to be forwarded it should be less than 60 characters so that it will work with anyone’s email software
  • 29. Formatting: Lists and Bullets When you are writing For example, directions or want to  Place the paper in emphasize important drawer A. points, number your  Click the green “start” directions or bullet your button. main points. Another example, • Improve customer satisfaction. • Empower employees.
  • 30. Formatting Put double spaces between paragraphs, and don't indent. Those are print conventions, and e- mail doesn't necessarily work that way. Keep text flush-left, ragged-right, since other forms of indenting and justification likely won't come through to the other end.
  • 31. Use proper grammar & punctuation  Improper spelling, grammar and punctuation give a bad impression  It is also important for conveying the message properly – E-mails with no full stops or commas are difficult to read and can sometimes even change the meaning of the message.
  • 32. Formatting: Spell Check  Use Spell Check, read over each e-mail at least once before you send it.
  • 33. Take care with rich text and HTML messages  Be aware that, when you send an email in rich text or HTML format, the sender might only be able to receive plain text emails. – If your e-mail program lets you use boldface, italics, colors, characters with accents or that you otherwise can't see on a North American English keyboard, turn those features off.
  • 34. Make links clickable  When referencing e-mail or web addresses, make sure they are cleanly separated from other text. – on a separate line if possible
  • 35. Formatting: Set up Distribution Lists  Rather than typing in numerous email addresses in the “To:” line, create mailing list groups so that there is only one address
  • 36. Replying and Forwarding
  • 37. Replying & Forwarding  Answer all questions,  Use cc: field sparingly and pre-empt further  Mailings > use the Bcc: questions field or do a mail  Cite Appropriate merge References  Don't leave out the  Read the email before message thread. you send it.  Time  Do not overuse Reply to All
  • 38. Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions  If you do not answer all the questions in the original email, you will receive further e-mails regarding the unanswered questions, which will not only waste your time and your customer’s time but also cause considerable frustration.
  • 39. Cite Appropriate References  Take time to back up your statements with references to articles and documents just as you would in standard written material
  • 40. Read the email before you send it.  Reading your email through the eyes of the recipient will help you send a more effective message and avoid misunderstandings and inappropriate comments.
  • 41. Do not overuse “Reply to All”  Reply only to those who need it. Do not quot;Reply Allquot; reflexively. – Before replying to a mailing list, ask yourself seriously whether your reply would be better going just to one person, or to a few, or not at all. – Avoid quot;me too!quot;
  • 42. Use cc: field sparingly.  Try not to use the cc: field unless the recipient in the cc: field knows why they are receiving a copy of the message. – Cc: = Carbon Copy
  • 43. Mailings > use the Bcc: field or do a mail merge  When sending an email mailing, some people place all the email addresses in the To: field. There are two drawbacks to this practice: – (1) the recipient knows that you have sent the same message to a large number of recipients – you are publicizing someone else's email address without their permission  One way to get round this is to place all addresses in the Bcc: field – the recipient will only see the address from the To: field in their email, so if this was empty, the To: field will be blank and this might look like spamming
  • 44. Don't leave out the message thread  A 'thread-less email' will not provide enough information and you will have to spend a frustratingly long time to find out the context of the email in order to deal with it.
  • 45. Time  It is considered rude not to respond to an email as soon as possible. – each e-mail should be replied to within at least 24 hours, and preferably within the same working day. – If the email is complicated, just send an email back saying that you have received it and that you will get back to them.
  • 46. Technical Considerations
  • 47. Technical Considerations  When you are sending an attachment tell your respondent what the name of the file is, what program it is saved in, and the version of the program.  “This file is in MSWord 2000 under the name “LabFile.”
  • 48. Attachments  If you need to send an attachment, send it only to those who really need it
  • 49. Attachments - DC Rules  Douglas County Attachment Rules – do not attach files larger than 3 Mb. If the file is bigger, use the temporary FTP site or put the file on a Thumb drive and send via regular mail or hand deliver.
  • 50. Attachments  If you do send one, be prepared for the recipient not to receive it properly, and to do some troubleshooting
  • 51. Do not attach unnecessary files.  Wherever possible try to compress attachments and only send attachments when they are productive
  • 52. Be Careful!
  • 53. Be Careful:  Sensitivity  Email is Public  Humor and Sarcasm  Expressions of Anger  What you say about others  Formatting
  • 54. Sensitivity  Try to be sensitive and not to provoke others. E-mail doesn't have the subtleties of spoken or face-to-face conversation, and it's remarkably easy to be misunderstood or to offend someone. – Communication is 7 percent the words used, 38 percent voice inflections, and 55 percent facial expressions and body language
  • 55. Email is Public  E-mail is not private, nor is it ephemeral. Expect what you write to be in public (or at least semi-public) view.
  • 56. Humor and Sarcasm  Subtle humor tends to get lost in electronic communication; so avoid it or take steps to make sure that people realize you are trying to be funny, if that is the intent.
  • 57. Expressions of Anger  . If a message or article generates negative emotions, you should set it aside and reread it later. Or, you might ask for feedback on its content from a colleague.
  • 58. What You Say About Others  Think twice before you post personal information about yourself or others.
  • 59. Other  Flaming  When Email shouldn’t be used
  • 60. Flaming  Emails are infamous for creating misunderstandings. Try to be as clear as possible and as empathetic as possible.
  • 61. When Email Won’t Work  There are times when you need to take your discussion out of the virtual world and make a phone call.  If things become very heated, a lot of misunderstanding occurs, or when you are delivering very delicate news then the best way is still face- to face.