How many e-mails did you send today? You probably lost count at some point after lunch. The odds are you sent more than a dozen of these messages out to family members, friends, clients and co-workers. Here’s the big question: Were any of those e-mail messages rude? Were any overly brief? Would any of the messages you sent today make their recipients wonder if they had done something to offend you? Yes, there is such a thing as e-mail etiquette. Here’s a short primer regarding how to mind your manners while sending e-mail.
Sometimes you can be too brief
How many times have you received a very brief e-mail message? It’s easy to think that the sender is angry with you for some reason. But let’s suppose the sender was sending your message through an iPhone or iPad? It isn’t always easy to type on small mobile devices. And for that reason, a lot of us keep our messages short when typing on those annoyingly restrictive pop-up keyboards. To let readers know that this is the explanation for your brevity, come up with a specific signature for any e-mail accounts you use on smartphones and tablets. According to 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 so short. Something similar to “Excuse my brevity; I’m typing this on my iPhone” ought to do the job.
When those e-mail messages gather in your inbox, it’s easy to let some slip through the cracks. However, not responding to e-mail messages – not including spam or advertising messages, of course – is straight up rude. Every sender warrants at least a “Thank you” or a “Good to hear from you” message, even if you don’t have the time to completely respond to their message.
We receive so many e-mails every day, it’s tempting to pound out replies and send them back without proofreading them. After all, that removes at least some of your e-mail mess. But this may also result in messages filled with typos, something that’s more than a bit off-putting. And if you don’t proof your messages, you could inadvertently forget to attach that report or photo you’re promising. That’s irritating for recipients.
No shouting, please
You wouldn’t shout in a normal conversation. Don’t do it in an e-mail message, either. If you don’t know, shouting in e-mail means typing your response in all capital letters. This is glaring to the eye, and a big e-mail no-no. So stick to the normal rules of capitalization when crafting your e-mail messages.