Frequently Asked Questions

Email Etiquette FAQs

What is proper email etiquette?
  • Send a separate email for each topic. This makes it easier for recipients to respond to, or to file, or delete messages.
  • Always use the subject line of your email to make a clear statement or specific request. This will also make your email stand out in a recipient's crowded in-box.
  • When replying to an email, use your email's quoting feature to include a copy of the original text. This is a handy reminder for recipients who might not recall what they wrote originally.
  • Never write email when your emotions are raging. Anger and sarcasm often come across stronger in text than they would in person. An email is a permanent record that can come back to haunt you.
  • DON'T USE ALL CAPS because it looks like you're SHOUTING.
  • Watch out for inappropriate humour in emails. Do not use your email to forward junk email or chain letters. Don't send potentially offensive email such as jokes, etc.
  • Deliver bad news personally; email usually cannot convey empathy or compassion.
What are some email tips?
  • Acknowledge all email. It's unprofessional to ignore your mail.
  • Put the most important content at the beginning of your email, because recipients don't always scroll down to the end.
  • Make your email brief, focused, and specific. Deliver the most information in the least space.
  • Keep email paragraphs short (three or four lines). Attach files if you need to send something longer, or if you need to use headings, bullets, tables, graphics, and other formats that will make your message easier to read and understand.
  • Proofread! Always review your message before pressing Send. Think "AAAA" and double check that your message contains: a correct Address, correct Attached files, suitable Attitude and tone, and a statement of the Action you want the recipient to take.
  • Never attach extremely large documents to your email unless you check first with the recipient. Some email clients do not support large attachements and some email providers block large attachments. If your recipient is receiving their email via modem, large attachments can take a long time to download.