Email Basics – contribute to my Top 10

17 04 2008

Been pondering ways for people to increase their Social Capital, and recognized that there is a serious need for a primer on, not necessarily email etiquette, but what I am calling email basics or common sense.

A Top 10 List of Email Basics:

10) You do NOT have to forward the clever/sweet/funny/insert adjective here emails you get. Really! You have a choice and no one will be upset if you don’t. I promise.

9) You do not HAVE to respond to every email you get. Sometimes you are just part of a group’s string and they’re interacting about something in the dialogue, and you really don’t have or need to comment. More often than not, you’re still on the CC:, To: or maybe BCC: line just because they don’t want you to feel left out.

BONUS TIP: If it appears you are in the BCC line, then odds are it might be good to check if a comment is expected b/c there often is some cloak ‘n dagger stuff being shared that might concern you or it’s serving as a heads up, which means it is probably wise to find out why you were looped in!

Eight 8) Using caps for good is good, using caps to make a dig or be passive aggressive is BAD! (WordPress inserts a smiley for the #8?!)

7) It’s time to start using the once popular “NRN” at the end of emails. A “no reply needed” would save the world’s Inboxes from a world of hurt. Reminder: NRN usually means please don’t reply.

6) Change the subject line of an email string when the subject changes, which they so often do.

5) Stop apologizing for sending group emails (unless you’ve included everyone’s email addresses somewhere visible. Haven’t we all learned not to do this by now?). This world is hectic and we have so many points of contact whether it be email, cell phones, Facebook, MySpace, text messaging, etc. We can’t possibly call everyone we’d like to as often as we’d like, and who says I want to get a Borg-like device so I can call while driving (which is usually the only time I have time) or that the other person wants to “talk” to you anyway? Keeping each other in-the-loop on life’s ups and downs or goals or births or events can be done so easily via email, and the alternative of not staying in touch is just unacceptable.

4) Please share your contributions to this list via the Comments section. Thanks!



2 responses

18 04 2008

My faves:
— Strip out your signature when emailing people you know.
— Keep replies to a paragraph whenever possible.
— Use descriptive headlines to give people a better idea about what to expect.
— Check your spelling and grammar.
— Summarize long threads with multiple respondents.

I’m still debating whether to skip the salutations and sign-offs. Some might think it’s rude while others might appreciate the brevity. More tips than I follow can be found here:

21 04 2008

1. Don’t just forward an email and put in the body FYI… (so lame) that’s passing the buck.
2. Only 1 use of an exclamation point per email.
3. If you MUST send a mass-email spam-style, don’t put everyones email in the cc or to field, use the bcc field and put your own in the to field.

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