Tricks of the Trade: E-Mail Etiquette

Communication has changed over the years, and I’m pretty sure that everyone would agree that most of our daily communication is over e-mail. I think sometimes people forget that they are still talking to people even when they are writing to them. A lot of things irk me in life, but when I get an e-mail that has some of the following features, I really lose it:

Two Colored/Different Fonts – Okay, I get it, you were copy and pasting something that I asked for, combining two documents, whatever. Dear colleague, please take the two seconds that it takes to hit CTRL+A, click the black font button, size button, and font. I want it perfect when it comes into my inbox and shouldn’t have to deal with your clerical laziness.

The overuse of Emoticons – 🙂 😛 😉 NO NO NO. Stop. Not every e-mail that is sent to a client or colleague needs to have a happy smile next to it. It’s not cute, not fun, and really makes someone come off being a perky flake. “Dear Client, I’m on deadline and need this ASAP! :-)” NO. it doesn’t work, and isn’t going to make someone hurry their response up.

The Exclamation Point The New York Times rarely uses exclamation points in articles, I’m almost positive that it is a guideline for certain articles, so you probably shouldn’t use it when you are writing to someone. Read this sentence, “I look forward to working with you.” and now read this, “I look forward to working with you!” You just made yourself look like you had a bit to much coffee.

Abuse of HIGH IMPORTANCE – Not every e-mail is important. Let’s be honest – most of them aren’t. If you over abuse this feature no one will think anything you’re sending is actually important. You’ve just became the boy who cried wolf with a single click.

Read Receipts – Another feature that shouldn’t be abused. Incredibly annoying, sometimes useful, but if you’re spamming me I really don’t care if you know I read something or not. Let me delete the e-mail and not worry about a pop-up please. Thanks, byeeeeeeee

E-Mail Bullies – Say it to my face, dirt bag.

What irks you when you get e-mails?