Now Hear This, Inc.
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Email Etiquette
Helpful Hints and Guidelines

Email has become a major communications tool for most of us. The following "Netiquette" guidelines are intended to promote your effective use of email on the job and beyond.

  • Set up folders to organize mail (i.e. urgent, aging, and all cc messages that don't require any action).
  • Maintain separate business and personal email accounts.
  • Remember that all laws governing copyright, defamation, discrimination and other forms of written communication also apply to email.
  • Write email messages as you would any other document for your signature.
  • Keep paragraphs and messages short and to the point. Put important information first.
  • Make sure your "subject line" makes sense.
  • Be suspicious of email attachments.
  • Use a signature footer including your name, title, address, department, and phone/fax number.
  • Use salutations and spell names correctly.
  • Spell check your email, making certain to review messages before sending.
  • Use your real name when specifying your return address.
  • Repeat a small part of original email as a friendly reminder.
  • Remember your real-world manners. Be polite and courteous at all times.
  • "Flame." Be professional and careful what you say about others.
  • Forward business or personal email to mailing lists without the original author's permission.
  • Overuse acronyms, punctuation or emoticons.
  • Use email for emotional communications. Some messages should only be delivered via formal written letter, telephone, or in person.
  • Send "spam". Never send a message to someone you don't know, unless they ask you to or you have a legitimate reason for doing so.
  • Email large files as attachments (100K-150K) without permission.
  • Send anything confidential. Email is about as private as sending a postcard.
  • Use ALL CAPS. On the net it's considered SHOUTING and RUDE.
  • Put a long list of addresses in the TO: or CC: field. Instead use the blind carbon copy (BCC:) field.
  • Send an angry message. Think before you act and learn how to use the postpone command.
  • Leave your email account open while away from your computer.
  • Forget to check your email regularly.

Jeannie Davis is president of Now Hear This, Inc., a Colorado-based communications training company specializing in professional telephone skills workshops, seminars and keynote presentations. An expert in the field of telephone communication, she is the award-winning author of Beyond "Hello:" A Practical Guide for Excellent Telephone Communication and Quality Customer Service. Davis has worked with many Fortune 500 companies and trained thousands of people to maximize the profit- and image-building power of their #1 business communication tool. For additional information and a free "video brochure" about on-site training programs, reach Jeannie at 1-800-784-5525 or visit online at