20 Things to Start and Stop Doing with Email

Business etiquette in the office is important. And even though email is regarded by some as an informal means of communication, it’s still very important to follow some standard etiquette guidelines when using it.

Here’s a brief list of Promises which every employee should commit to. If you’d like to share this at your next staff meeting or post at work, it’s available as a free download.

I promise to:

  1. Make my subject line descriptive and meaningful
  2. Get to the point of my email within the first two sentences
  3. Copy only those necessary
  4. Use the BCC (Blind Courtesy Copy) feature when sending an email to a group of individuals who do not know one another
  5. Only send emails to those who need them
  6. Read (and proof) my message before hitting send
  7. Put requests in bulleted or numbered format, along with deadlines
  8. Pick up the phone when I need a quick response
  9. Communicate clearly to my reports my expectations on being copied on their email
  10. Use a professional, standardized signature block at the end of each email

I promise to stop:

  1. Over-using the High Importance (!) symbol
  2. Attaching a Read Receipt unnecessarily to emails
  3. Copying my boss on all of my emails
  4. Using smiley face emoticons as a way to communicate sarcasm
  5. Sending emails that simply say “Got it”, “Thanks”, or “FYI”
  6. Sending email late at night or on weekends when I’m trying to clean up my Inbox
  7. Sending long, rambling emails
  8. TYPING IN ALL CAPS
  9. Hitting “Reply to All” when only the sender of the email needs my response.
  10. Sending emails written with text messaging abbreviations

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