Tips and Rules for Sending Email

By Lynda Goldman

Writing action-oriented email is a critical skill in business today. Email etiquette, or Netiquette, is changing, and it's vital to know the rules. Email is a powerful tool that liberates communication, and helps you get results quickly in the short term. In the long term, your career will advance more quickly when you use netiquette.

Netiquette, or email etiquette rules - do use email for: • Handling important business • Communicating specific ideas quickly • Short messages -up to about 20 lines on a screen • Sending information to a list • Reducing telephone and meeting time by sending information in advance • Non-confidential messages

Netiquette rules – don’t use email for: • Anything that needs immediate action, such as an unexpected meeting this afternoon. You many not reach everyone. Call instead. • In-depth discussion, such as email that generates a string of four or more replies. It may be time for a phone call or personal meeting. • Information that will reflect badly on you or anyone else if it reaches the wrong mailbox. Remember that anything you send can become public property. It can be forwarded, saved and printed by people it was never intended for, and can be used as proof in a court. • Sensitive issues, such as delivering bad news or giving negative feedback to a colleague or employee. • Anything obscene, libelous, offensive or racist does not belong in a company email, even as a joke. • Communicating with people who seldom use email themselves. • Personal communication where body language and facial expression are important in interpreting a message.

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Copyright Lynda Goldman 2008 All rights reserved.