Email has rapidly become one of the most popular ways for people to communicate. Because some people are still learning the ropes when it comes to email, proper email etiquette is not always followed. Here are some tips on how to observe proper email etiquette:
- Don't type in all-capital letters. Typing in all caps is a major email faux pas. Besides being distracting and difficult to read, it appears as though you are screaming at the recipient.
- Don't use funky, distracting fonts and colors. An email that comes through written in small, pale pink text will be hard for the recipient to read. You're safer sticking to the standard black, 12 point text in classic fonts like Times New Roman or Arial.
- Follow proper grammar rules. Check your spelling and try not to abbreviate. Nothing comes across worse than an email that is littered with misspellings and typos. Email slang and abbreviations are prevalent, but not everyone knows that JK means "just kidding" or that HTH means "hope this helps."
- Don't send large attachment files, such as pictures, without telling the recipient first. If the recipient has a dial-up internet connection and you send him an email that contains 20 pictures, it will take considerable time for the pictures to load on his computer--and his computer will be tied up for an eternity while he waits for your email to appear!
- Don't forward chain emails. Just as you wouldn't send a paper chain letter to certain people, don't clog up their email inbox by forwarding junk chain emails either. Most people do not appreciate chain mail of any sort.
- Don't send out bulk emails that list the recipients' email addresses. Many people like to keep their email address private to avoid getting on spam email lists. When you send out an email to a group list that displays all of the recipient's email addresses, you never know where that information will get forwarded to after you send it. Respect your friends' privacy by blocking out their email addresses when you include them on a group list. You can create your own distribution list using names in your email address book--and when you send messages out to your group list, their email addresses will not be displayed.
- Check the tone of your emails. Email is a very tricky medium. Because the recipient cannot see your face or hear your voice, your email message may not always be interpreted as you intended. For instance, you may be attempting to convey something in a joking manner, but it may appear to be more of an insult when it is read in an email. Always double-check the tone of your emails to make sure that nothing can be misconstrued by the recipient. Otherwise, you'll have a lot of explaining to do either in-person or on the phone-- and that kind of defeats the whole purpose of using email, now, doesn't it?