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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

23 Email Etiquette Rules Every Professional Should Know

Here are 23 Fantastico email etiquette rules every professional should know:

1. The 1st commandment: Never send an e-mail without a subject(sending an email without a subject is a BIG NO)

2. The 2nd commandment: Understand and utilize the BCc field appropriately. Using the BCc field breaks all the email folder delivery rules and the message lands in Inbox. Be careful.

3. The 3rd commandment: Understand the use of "Recall" option and use only when absolutely required. At times, it is wise not to recall even when you realize that you sent an incorrect email.

4. The 4th commandment: Be careful before hitting the "Reply All" button. It should be used only when it is driven by business need and is absolutely important.

5. The 5th commandment: Avoid the use of CAPITAL letters and exclamation marks. CAPITAL letters are used to show anger/ yelling.

6. The 6th commandment:  Do not forget your english lessons from school. Run a mandatory spell check and grammar check before sending any email.

7. The 7th commandment: Always be true to your reader. Your email should provide value and be informative. You should avoid unnecessary long emails with text that does not make sense. Be concise, to the point and precise.

8. The 8th commandment: Avoid writing and sending email when driven by emotion of anger or frustration. If you are really annoyed about any event or person then it is wise to take a break and avoid writing about that person/ event on email. If you cant control your emotions then just draft the email but dont hit the send button. Give yourself more time to cool down. You will not regret about it later.

9. The 9th commandment: Read all emails carefully. Most times the inflow or volume of incoming emails is huge and hence people tend to just browse or glance through the emails quickly. They tell themselves that they will come back to this email later and most times they forget. One way to avoid this is to be organized by using features like "Flag" or "Categories" in Microsoft Outlook.

10The 10th commandment: Act on an email the very first time you receive and open it. Probable actions are (a) You respond to the email (b) You forward the email to someone else for action, that is, delegate to someone else (c) delete the email because there is no action required. If you take any of these actions in the first attempt then you save yourself a lot of time and avoid the hassle of remembering to act on it at a later point in time.

11The 11th commandment: Keep your email box clean. Thou shall follow a routine to delete all unwanted emails from time to time.

12The 12th commandment: Subscribe to only those email lists or mailer aliases which are required for you to do your current job. If you move from one team to another or from one role to another within the same company then thou shall unsubscribe from all unwanted email lists or mailer aliases. This way you wont get any unwanted emails, it saves space and network bandwidth as well.

13The 13th commandment: Avoid sending heavy email attachments on email. Explore other options like file transfer tools or common locations/ SharePoint to upload heavy files and then share URL of the location where the file has been uploaded. Make sure that the intended audience has access to the common location/ SharePoint.

14The 14th commandment: Keep all the required individuals and mailer aliases/ lists copied in Cc. This way everyone is in loop of all important business communications. If you avoid copying the required individuals/ mailer lists and engage in one on one emails then there are chances that you will end up taking ownership of issues or escalations.

15. The 15th commandment: Avoid use of red font or red color to denote/ indicate a problem/ issue.

16. The 16th commandment: Use uniform type, size and color of font in a single email. Use of more than one color is generally avoided.

17. The 17th commandment: Never print an email unless absolutely required. All official email printouts should be shredded/ destroyed as soon as its purpose is served.

18. The 18th commandment: Avoid sending one liners. Emails with just "Thank You" or "Ok" don't make any sense.

19. The 19th commandment: Do not use chat etiquette on email. For example, use of short forms like "k for Ok", "ur for Your", "4 U for For You" are not appropriate on email communication.

20. The 20th commandment: Avoid multiple email exchanges and pick up the phone when necessary. Understand that not all issues can be resolved on email and at some point in time it is wise to discuss on phone or discuss in person. This leads to faster resolution.

21. The 21st commandment: Avoid getting personal on email. Business communications should be done in professional manner. Thou shalt keep privacy and confidentiality compliance in place.

22. The 22nd commandment: Always include a valid signature in your email so that the receiver understands who you are, what team you work for and what are your alternate contact details.

23. The 23rd commandment: Keep an eye on the junk or spam folder. At times few legitimate emails may get routed to spam or junk folder. If you don't keep an eye on this folder then there are chances that you may miss some important email communications.

Following the above tips will have an immense positive impact on your professional rapport.

You may also like to read: 10 Reasons Why Some People Are Smarter Than Others 

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.