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 www.phoneskills.com.