E-mail etiquette

E-mail like so many other things in life has an etiquette that should be adhered to.As a relatively literate member of society some of the e-mails I receive make me mad for no reason other than the fact that they are either ill thought or because it is just obvious that the author has taken no care whilst composing it.It’s for this reason that this week I have decided to publish what I believe should be fundamental rules that we all follow when putting together an e-mail:

Do not type the entire e-mail in CAPITALS – Typing in capitals insinuates that you are either shouting or yelling at your recipient.Of course if this is your intention then feel free to use caps but if you’re writing to your dear old grandmother then it isn’t really appropriate to be yelling at her constantly.Most people realise that you won’t be meaning to shout at them and that you have just left the caps lock key on but then rather than causing insult you will instead just appear either extremely lazy or ignorant.

Do not leave the subject field blank – Not only is this the quickest way to get your e-mail blocked by a spam filter but for those of us that receive a lot of e-mail it will make it hard to organise and manage our inboxes.

Don’t use fancy formatting – When I receive an e-mail black text on a white background is perfect – It’s easy to read and is quick to download.I cannot stand it when someone e-mails me in pink text with a huge similarly coloured image in the background - not only does it slow down my machine but it also makes for impossible reading so keep it simple folks!

Use Blank Carbon Copies – When sending an e-mail to a large number of people make use of the blank carbon copy (BCC) field to input all your recipients e-mail addresses rather than the standard CC field.By using the BCC field you will be able to e-mail a large number of people but their e-mail addresses will be hidden from one another so not only are yourespecting their privacy but your e-mail also won’t start with a huge list of recipients which serve no purpose but to remind people that you’re a novice.

Be careful what you forward – When you get something in your inbox that you think is slightly humorous think to yourself whether other people would appreciate it as much as you obviously do.Perhaps you’re just the kind of person who has a terrible sense of humour; if you forward a bad joke on to 20 other people then they’re not going to thank you as in addition to not being funny, they’ve probably already seen said e-mail a dozen times already that day thanks to other newbie users.

Don’t ever, EVER forward virus warnings - I have never seen a genuine virus warning e-mail and would be confident in saying that without exception they are certainly all hoaxes.Some of these hoax e-mails can cause damage as users follow the instructions to attempt to remove a fictitious virus that hasn’t even infected their machine.You will not be thanked if you forward an e-mail on to 20 friends and they all mess up their machines thanks to you.

There was a lot more that I wanted to cover in this article but I’ve ran out of space so perhaps I’ll continue to set the online world to rights next week.

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.