Check the address: Double-check the recipient’s e-mail address; you don’t want to send your e-mail to the wrong person, especially if you are sending
important, private or sensitive e-mails.
Fill in the subject box: E-mails without a subject heading are often ignored as
unimportant or deleted as junk mail.
Use the BCC function: When you are sending information to a large number of
people, use the BCC function. It sends the e-mail out to each recipient
individually. The only other e-mail address that will appear in the recipient’s
mailbox is that of the sender.
Do you need to send an attachment?: An enormous amount of time and energy is
wasted by people struggling with incompatible formats, files that never
arrived, and attachments that got garbled or stripped off the message. Consider
copying the text of the attached file into the body of the e-mail message.
Pause before clicking “Reply To All”: When responding to e-mails, decide if
everyone on the original list should receive, or would welcome, your feedback.
If you can make a useful contribution to a discussion, then do, otherwise, do
not get involved.
Your response should be first: If you respond to an e-mail and want to include
text from the original e-mail, make sure that your response is at the top of
the e-mail being sent.
Consider file size: Large files take longer to download, use up space on e-mail
servers and are sometimes undeliverable. Consider whether images are needed,
and if large files can be compressed.
Plain text and HTML do not mix: It is best to respond to an e-mail in the
format in which it was received as this ensures that the recipient will be able
to read it. If you respond to a plain text message by using HTML then the
message will be, at best, difficult to read and often unreadable.
Do not use CAPITAL LETTERS: If possible, avoid using capital letters, not only
are capital letters difficult to read but they are associated with shouting and
Some messages should be delivered in person: Tragic news or an emotional
reaction such as anger is handled best in person and not through e-mail. The
problem is that with an e-mail the words are separated from the physical
emotion in your voice and face — even your body language can speak volumes.
Pause before you hit the send button: If an e-mail was written in anger, it is
best to calm down and think before sending it. A problem is best solved with a
clear and calm frame of mind.
Personal stationary should be used for personal e-mail: When sending or
responding to business e-mail it is best not to use personal stationary and
Do not forward chain e-mail: Chain e-mail is not only tacky, but it is banned
from many corporate networks. Inboxes are already inundated with chain letters
and junk mail, and you can stop the procession by deleting it upon receipt.
Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have some method of identifying and
blocking junk e-mail.
Microsoft Outlook users:
To add someone to the Junk Senders list in Outlook, please take the following steps:
Open Outlook. In the Inbox, click a message from the sender whose e-mails you
want to automatically delete. On the Actions menu, highlight Junk e-mail, click
Add to Junk Senders List.
The tips and guidelines shown above are based on an
April 19, 2004, article by PC Magazine