Etiquette: E-mail correspondence

Every now and then we enter the realm of prescribed norms of social behavior, and every now and then we need a little guidance. Once again the Carlsbad Revue contains a column relating to instructions on ethics. Let us help you recall the rules in the world of e-mail correspondence.

A lot of time has passed since people communicated via smoke signals, carrier pigeons, trained kestrels or messengers on fast horses. Communication has made great strides forward. Now, the vast majority, and not only of corporate communication, takes place by e-mail correspondence, a form of communication which is undoubtedly much faster than the forementioned methods. Let's together take a look at a few principles that we should know.

For starters, make sure that the e-mail contains a courteous greeting and farewell worthy of the addressee, because it is also necessary to include due respect in your salutations. It is obvious that correct spelling also carries a lot of weight in all forms of interactive written communication. Furthermore, all necessary information explaining your request or opinion must be written sensibly and clearly and in a proper sentence structure, it is not unusual, but unfortunately there are also those who think that colloquial speech can be include in a written statement. But remember also that e-mail is not a means to fulfill your dream of writing a novel, its content should be concise and to the point to which it is directly related.

In business email correspondence there are also rules on reply time, if you can not deal with the content of the e-mail immediately, it is good to at least let  the sender know that you have received the message. Never send spam, it could be taken as indicative of your good name and reputation. It is also etically correct to observe a sufficient degree of formality, and no commercial communications should be sent outside working hours or other inadequate times for business communication.

Finally, remember that repetition is the mother of wisdom, therefore, be sure to re-check the correctness of e-mail addresses and select a suitable subject. Be very careful when using the „reply to all“ function, missuse could lead to a catastrophic mistake.

And now all that is left to do is click on the „send“ icon and your e-mail will arrive immediately in the e-mail box of the addressee.

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