Here are some tips to keep in mind when minding your email manners:
1. Always Respond
Junk mail and forwards are one thing, but you should always respond to a real message, whether it's to invite you to a meeting or a hello from an old friend.
2. What's the Story?
Don't keep your readers in suspense, use the Subject line to alert the receiver to the subject matter of your message. You're likely to get a faster response.
3. Addresses Ad-nauseum
When sending out an e-mail to a long list of recipients, consider using an address book function that doesn't list all recipients in the "to" header. Having to scroll past a long list of addresses to get to the message itself is annoying to many. Plus, many people may not like having their e-mail address displayed to others.
4. Rapid Fire Responses
If you only check your e-mail once a week, let people know. Otherwise, they may take offense at not receiving a timely (which when it comes to e-mail can mean immediate) response from you.
5. Watch Your Language
While our e-mail culture is full of its own shorthand, it's best to always reread your messages before sending to make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors in your message.
6. Know Your Role
If you're sending out e-mail that is religious, political or pornographic, be sure to know that your intended recipient wants to receive it. In many business settings, transferring pornographic materials via e-mail is grounds for dismissal.
7. Avoid Spam
When you surf or shop retail sites on the Internet, watch out for the "free newsletter" and "customer update" e-mail check boxes. If you sign up, you will be receiving regular e-mail that may not interest you.
8. Keep it Professional
At work, keep all personal information out of e-mail. This isn't the venue for dissing coworkers or spilling the beans about your weekend adventures with the copier man.
9. Selectively Select
"Send to All." Only the most relevant work-related messages should be sent to "all" recipients. Private messages, or messages that only apply to a few recipients should never be sent this way.
10. Address Updates
If you are leaving your job, be sure that your e-mail account is closed and that incoming messages get forwarded to the appropriate person. Also, be sure to let everyone know your new e-mail address.