These tips are adapted from a comprehensive guide on email etiquette – 89 trick for email etiquette: the ultimate guide. Happy emailing!
Reply only to those concerned.
Do not routinely reply to all receivers of the original email. Check the list of receivers and remove any receivers that are not concerned by your reply. At the same time, do not hit reply when you really wanted to hit reply-all. This can create lots of confusion and irritation in a busy email thread, and require re-sending of emails.
Do not overuse the reply-all feature.
It can be really annoying when someone sends a reply-all to an email sent to many people. Make sure you do not do this mistake unless you really want your reply to reach all recipients of the original email. The worst of all is to follow up on such an accidental reply-all with a new reply-al, informing everyone that the previous email was sent to all in error. This frequently leads to other clowns following up with yet another reply-all saying something irrelevant, such as “thanks for the clarification”. Can be funny the first time it happens. Not so funny the second and third time.
Explain why a forwarded email is of interest for the receiver.
When forwarding an email, always include a short introductory note that explains why you think it will interest the recipient. It takes little time and makes sure that you come across as friendly and helpful. It will also help the receiver making a decision of whether to read it or not. However, make sure that what you forward really is of actual interest to the receiver, otherwise you will look the fool.
Did you get my email?
Checking to see if someone has received your e-mail is not a nuisance, it simply shows that you care about your work and take your tasks seriously. It is also a way of showing that you understand that the receiver is busy and may have his or her attention elsewhere. Make sure your reminder is formulated in a nice and friendly way.
Reply to your emails, even emails mistakenly sent to you.
It’s difficult to reply to all emails you receive, but do your best, even if the email was not intended for you. It is not strictly necessary, but is good email etiquette, especially if you have some kind of business relation to the sender. After all, if you sent an email to the wrong person, wouldn’t you appreciate being made aware of this in a friendly way? Treat others the way you would like them to treat you.
Send a complete response.
When replying to an email, make sure you make an honest attempt at replying to all questions in the original email. You may come across as sloppy and careless if you only reply to the first question. The exception to this is of course when you send a quick reply just to confirm that you have received the email and will get back to it later.
This was a guest post by Johan Aberg, CEO of Briteback – the messaging app for team players.