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Top 20 Most Important Rules of Email Netiquette

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Top 20 Most Important Rules of Email Netiquette

From Heinz Tschabitscher


The rules of email Netiquette are not "rules" in the sense that I will come after you if you don't follow them. They are guidelines that help avoid mistakes (like offending someone when you don't mean to) and misunderstandings (like being offended when you're not meant to). These core rules of email Netiquette help us communicate better via email.


All email etiquette rules and hints


1. Take Another Look Before You Send a Message

Don't send anything you don't want to send.


2. Do Not Default to "Reply All"

"Reply" is good. "Reply to All" is better. Right? If it's good to reply, it should be better to reply to all; right? Yes, it is — but only if the reply is really important to all the recipients. How often is that the case? Have you, conversely, ever seen somebody reply to all by embarrassing mistake?


That's why it's best to use Reply to All cautiously. Do Not Default to "Reply All" Use your email program's Reply to All feature only when


1. your reply will be necessary to know for the original sender and all people in the original email's To: and Cc: field.

Do not use Reply to All when 2. only the original sender needs to know your reply, 3. your comments will be crucial to know for the original sender and a few other recipients, 4. (Use Reply in this case and add the select other recipients manually. You can copy their addresses from the original email, of course.) 5. you have been a Bcc: recipient in the original message or 6. The Bcc: field should only be used to distribute emails while keeping the recipients' addresses confidential or to copy somebody internally, as proof, when delivering an email to the outside, for example. If you reply to all as a Bcc: recipient you reveal your being a recipient. 7. your message says "Thanks!" or "Me too!". 9. Personally, I like thank-you notices. Make thanking everybody via a group mail the exception, though. Do send personal emails expressing your gratitude instead.


3. Keep Emails Short

Do not intimidate recipients with too much text.


4. Properly Format Your Email Replies, and Be Lazy

Do you think quoting original text in your email replies perfectly is a lot of work? Don't let the '>' intimidate you! Here's a very comfortable, relaxed, quick and still clean and compatible way to reply properly.


5. Clean Up Emails Before Forwarding Them

Forwarding emails is a great way of sharing ideas, but make sure the original idea is not hidden in obfuscation. Remove all the other email addresses - don't contibute to spammer's address books.


6. When in Doubt, Send Plain Text Email, Not HTML

Not everybody can receive your fancily formatted emails. Some may even react furious. To be safe rather than sorry, send plain text emails only when in doubt.


7. Don't Forward Hoaxes

Email hoaxes often contain stories that are intriguing, and sure to irritate.

This is why you should not forward such a story unless you have investigated it yourself. You will irritate those that do not spot the hoax and they will probably pass it on, causing more irritation. Those that identify the hoax will likely send you a message notifying you that you passed on an urban legend. If you know a message is a hoax but have a specific reason to forward it nevertheless (for scientific purposes, for example), you might want to include your reason with the message.


8. Use Current Antivirus Software, Keep it Up to Date, Scan for Free

Make sure you're not spreading worms and viruses via email or act as a vehicle for spreading spam. All this can be caused by malicious emails. Fortunately, there's protection.


9. Smileys Should Ring an Alarm

Don't use smileys to say something you should not (and don't intend to) say in emails.


10. Do Let People Know Their Mail Has Been Received

Did the spam filter eat my message? Spare others this nagging question and let them know you got their email.


Source: about.com

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