Newsletter - Learning Matters - No.18

Email Etiquette

Email is a powerful tool that is increasingly relied upon in business today. Used well it can save time, money and hassle. If used badly it can have disastrous consequences.

We have conducted our own research into what makes email effective / ineffective - the list below has been contributed to by our customers and contacts, thank you to everyone who took the time to share their experiences with us.


Here are ten of the most annoying email habits that people have shared with us.

1. Inappropriate greetings and sign-offs: the level of formality / informality should be in keeping with your relationship with the recipient. Too formal is better than too casual. 'Regards' is usually fine as a sign-off

2. Disclaimers: we often receive a one line email that is followed by a six line disclaimer at the bottom. Keep it concise and relevant

3. Language: it is not appropriate to use text-speak in an email. Write in full words rather than letters (i.e. YOU rather than U) if you want to appear professional and credible

4. Grammar and punctuation: proof read your email before sending it to ensure it makes sense

5. Spelling: see above!

6. Tone: never send an email when you are angry. Take some time to calm down before responding

7. Email or phone? It is sometimes quicker to respond to someone by phone rather than entering into lengthy email correspondence

8. To copy or not to copy? Think carefully before copying someone in on an email. Do they really need to be included?

9. Brevity: Keep it brief or attach a separate document containing more detailed information

10. Flags: It is generally considered annoying when people request a receipt for their email. Most people say they refuse to send one. Equally irritating is the person who considers every email they send to be top priority and marks it as such!

Learning Curve - Reading, Berkshire, England: +44 (0)118 987 5683

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