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How To Master Email Etiquette

We all have those moments when we need to send a few quick replies to emails but don't have the time to write eloquent, grammar perfect emails. Here are a few tips and tricks I've learned along the way which will hopefully help you improve your email writing skills.

Double check the recipient field - I can't stress enough how important it is to make sure you have the correct name in the 'To' box. With autocomplete of email addresses it can be an easy mistake to enter the wrong name. Nothing like sending a personal email to your boss which was supposed to go to your best friend.

Be careful with abbreviations - The use of abbreviations like BTW, LOL, OMG are acceptable for some informal emails. Try not to use them in professional emails- try to break the habit!

For more tips,

Avoid using generic subject lines - Try to create a subject title which summarizes your email. Be concise and accurate and try to stay away from Hey, Hi and What's up.

Stay on topic - Instead of writing a novel, try to stick to the point and avoid using fancy formatting.

End the email with an amicable note - When I say this I don't mean writing love always or forever yours (unless it is your hubby of course) but what I do mean is cater to your audience. Usually best wishes, kind regards, thanks etc can do just fine.

Refrain from sending huge attachments - Receiving attachments that are 1MB or bigger in size can be such a drag. Not only does it fill up your inbox, but it takes forever to download - not to mention you can hardly see the image! Make sure all your attachments are a reasonable size before sending them.

c0rkie c0rkie 10 years
great tips and reminders! :D
amandasunly amandasunly 10 years
Thanks! I'm always wondering about this sort of thing.
rawkphish rawkphish 10 years
Good one! I'll keep that in mind.
jendudley jendudley 10 years
ROTFL @ Some-1-U-Know and Macgirl. That gave me a goooood laugh!!!!
macgirl macgirl 10 years
Just so you know I laugh my a$$ off when I get an email from my ex husband and every friggen sentence ends with a question mark. They are not all questions which is what makes it so FUNNY ;-) Oh and he types in all caps which makes it like he's yelling all of his non questions ;-)
sailing-chick sailing-chick 10 years
One would have assumed that this was common knowledge. The "reply all" button should never have been invented and I also hate receiving emails that have no punctuation. When did it become ok to not have punctuation and capitalisation??
Some-1-U-Know Some-1-U-Know 10 years
Fancy04 Fancy04 10 years
Good idea. I sure get enough emails :ROTFL: I believe you can format them the way you want to, depending on who its from :)
filwdork filwdork 10 years
I would also say that email etiquette would involve using capitalization and spelling out words instead of "plz" and "thx" and so on. It's so unprofessional and also one of my biggest pet peeves. I also ditto the "reply all" feature. I hate getting emails that had nothing to do with me in the first place and everyone just keeps hitting reply all.
Tech Tech 10 years
Thanks for all your great additions everyone! I should start creating a mega email etiquette list for the readers!
macgirl macgirl 10 years
What's the recall message?? Is that a PC thing? What's the equivalent?
Maggie-Mae Maggie-Mae 10 years
Also key: learning to hit the "recall message" button quickly, ha ;)
jendudley jendudley 10 years
reply all....don't use this feature unless it is necessary. I hate getting emails that don't pertain to me after someone has hit reply all instead of just reply. Also, if you are forwarding something, take all the extra headers and email addresses out before you send it. It is a huge invasion of privacy to forward tons of email addresses to strings and strings of people. I don't know if I explained these well, but they are two of my biggest pet peeves. GREAT TOPIC, Geek!
Tech Tech 10 years
That is such a great tip! I'm sure everyone will find it very useful. Now that our inbox's can store thousands of emails, they definitely need to be searchable!
macgirl macgirl 10 years
Here's another one: Don't reply to an email with an entirely different subject matter. Example- you get an email for a seminar invite from a client. You reply "On another note- I need you to get me those documents for the booking proposal". This makes searching emails later to find info you need really hard. Start a new email with a subject like "Documents for Booking proposal". I can't tell you how often I send out emails to clients and get responses like this. It is extremely annoying and really hard to keep track of stuff.
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