Email etiquette

I love this post: Hacking Email: 99 Email Security and Productivity Tips, especially the section on email etiquette.  Many of the tips provided by the IT Security Staff point to one common theme: DON’T WASTE PEOPLE’S TIME with your email.  The objective is to get your message read, not to slow down your reader.  Sending an email with a blank subject or a subject like "Hi" is sure to get it deleted.  Be detailed in the subject line, so they don’t have to read three paragraphs to understand what you want.  Don’t send chain letters.  Don’t forward your motivational saying of the day.  Don’t "Reply to All" on a CC with 43 people.  Take the time to cut the most relevant sentence from the message to which you are responding and answer specifically, so the reader doesn’t have to review the entire string to figure out what part you’re answering.  Be brief; if not, provide a summary before the text.  Bottom line: use common sense and courtesy.  Don’t cut corners to save yourself time and put the burden on the recipient.  Ask yourself, "What could I do to save my reader some time?" before sending.



  1. Jodi Rosenberg says:

    Great reminder. I love the tip of about “not cutting corners to save yourself time and put the burdenon the recipient”. I manage a small team of people who need to commnicate from the US to Asia daily via e-mail. When we do not take that extra minute to consider “What can I do to save the reader some time?”, we waste days trying to clarify a poorly written e-mail.
    Thank you for the management help! I have forwarded your article to my team.

  2. You know my number one email bug-bear? People not including a signature with contact details (desk phone and mobile) in their email message. It’s frustrating and a huge time-waster to have to search through the corporate network for a phone number (for internal people) or call up the company switchboard (for external people).