Recently, I gave you some tips on writing emails and asked for your input. Here are some suggestions from Loren L., with some additions from me, that I think you’ll find helpful.
1. Prompt response—Promptly responding/replying to an email directed to YOU is the appropriate thing to do.Reply when asked.
2. Greetings and salutations—Common courtesy implies a greeting and salutation in any communication or interaction. Greetings and salutations are appropriate for many emails.
3. Use names—Address the person and sign your name. This is basic common courtesy.
4. Subject line is a summary of the message. Keep your messages short and focused. BLUF=Bottom Line Up Front
5. Use appropriately the TO: CC: BCC: FW: Reply: Reply All
TO—Identify the person or people intended to receive and to reply to the email message. A prompt reply shows respect. A short “Thank you” shows class. Courtesy means if someone sends you a note, a reply is appropriate.
CC—Don’t use CC to copy your message to everyone, only to those who need to receive the message. A CC message does NOT require a reply.
BCC—Use for sending “bulk” email. It keeps private people’s email addresses. A BCC does NOT require a reply.
FW—Should be used sparingly, not just to pass emails along.
Reply—Include the original email sent to you in your reply.
Reply All—Avoid use of this option. Use Reply instead. Using Reply All often fills others’ email accounts with information they neither want nor need.
6. Emails are never private. Never be unkind or hurtful. If you’re not willing to see your message on the front page of tomorrow’s New York Times, don’t put it in an email; it can be forwarded to multitudes in a second. As a general rule, never put unkind words in writing. Don’t send emails when you are upset. No flaming.
7. Upper case should be used to HIGHLIGHTimportant words or phrases only. In general, make your words give the emphasis. Any highlighting, such as upper case, bold, italics or underlining, should be used very sparingly. If you emphasize everything, you end up emphasizing nothing.
8. Avoid email abuse. Don’t send unnecessary or uninvited material.
9. Build relationships.Use the phone or make a personal visit. Email is not a substitute for personal contact.
10. Use “Out-Of-Office” toolsor Auto Reply if you’re going to be absent for a while.
Finally, always re-read your email before sending it—slowly and audibly so you can hear what you actually wrote, not what you think you wrote.