Always Use a Meaningful Subject Line

Never leave the subject line of an email blank. This will help your recipients sort through their emails more efficiently and will precipitate a response to your email quicker.

Respond Timely to Emails Received

Don’t make the people that send you email wait an excessive amount of time for a reply to their email. Respond promptly with a clear and concise reply. If you need more time to research an answer or gather more information, tell your email sender when they can expect a reply.

Use Out-of-Office Email Tools

If you are going to be away from the office and you will not be able to read your e-mail in a timely manner, use the email system’s out-of-office tool to automatically respond to incoming email. This way the sender will not expect a timely reply. Make sure your automated reply tells the sender when they can expect a reply.

6. Not Every Email is “High Importance”

Most email systems allow you to flag an email as “High Importance” or “Rush”. Do not make this your standard email flag that all your emails receive. Eventually your recipients will ignore the “importance” flag and when you have a really important email it will not get the attention that it deserves.

Reply Conservatively

Don’t instinctively click the “Reply All” button for every email that you reply to. Consider the subject at hand and decide who needs to read your reply. Always responding to everyone will quickly earn you a reputation as a “business spammer” and people will not read any of your emails.

Keep Business and Personal Emails Separate

Do not use your business email for personal correspondence. Even if you own your own business, it is a good idea to have two separate email accounts. This will allow you to prioritize your emails so that business always comes first.

Choose Professional Email Account Names

When creating an email account name always use your own name as part of the email address. For example: [email protected], or [email protected]. Avoid nicknames, handles and monikers. For example, do not use [email protected] or [email protected].

Less Email Means More Action

Don’t use email as your default communication tool. Remember that not all messages are appropriate for email. Sometimes a short telephone call or a brief office visit is more appropriate and brings back the element of human relations into an environment that is sometimes inundated with impersonal technology.

Be Sensitive and Approachable

Think about how the other person will react to your email. Would a personal visit be more appropriate? Never use email to terminate a relationship or contract. In professional business correspondence, always include a signature line that gives alternate ways to contact you (i.e. telephone numbers, street address, cell phone, etc.)

12. Don’t Attach Massive Files

You never know how or where your recipient will be accessing their email. Mobile devices may start downloading the file before asking the user to confirm the download. This may take a long time and consume bandwidth that the recipient is paying for. Therefore, do not send massive files (i.e. a single file or several files that have a combined size larger than 50MB). If you need to send a large file, contact the person first and ask them how they would like to receive the file.

Think Before You Send That Email

Finally, take a moment and consider what you are sending in the email before you press the “send” button. Is it something that should not be sent in an e-mail? Is it of a personal nature and not appropriate to use the company’s email system? Is there a chance that you may regret sending this e-mail at a later date? If so, press the “delete” button instead.

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