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The E-Mail Etiquette: Get Your Mail Right

The change in information and technology and the availability of internet has changed the way we do business communication. The phone calls has been reduced and replaced by emails. The freedom of not having to make funny gestures and unnecessary inquiries about well being and heath status before getting into core matters has made emails the preferred mode of communication. The trend is already catching up in Nepal where you find even the smallest enterprise or institution making use of the mighty e-mail. As we depend so much on these emails to get our business deals there are suggested ways of handling them. Today we give you a list of the top email etiquette rules you need to note.

1. Be concise and to the point.

Do not make an e-mail any longer than it needs to be. Remember that reading an e-mail is harder than reading printed communications.

2. Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions.
An email reply must answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions – If you do not answer all the questions in the original email, you will receive further e-mails regarding the unanswered questions, which will not only waste your time and your customer’s time but also cause considerable frustration.

3. Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation.
This is not only important because improper spelling, grammar and punctuation give a bad impression of your company, it is also important for conveying the message properly. E-mails with no full stops or commas are difficult to read and can sometimes even change the meaning of the text. Use the spell checker and grammer support available in you email editor or take support of the mighty MS Word.

4. Answer swiftly.

E-mails are sent as people wish to receive a quick response. Each e-mail should be replied to within at least 24 hours and preferably within the same working day.

5. Do not attach unnecessary files.
By sending large attachments you can annoy others and even bring down their e-mail system. Wherever possible try to compress attachments.

6. Use proper structure & layout.
Since reading from a screen is more difficult than reading from paper, the structure and lay out is very important for e-mail messages. Use short paragraphs and blank lines between each paragraph. When making points, number them or mark each point as separate to keep the overview.

7. Do not overuse the high priority option.
If you overuse the high priority option, it will lose its function when you really need it.

8. Do not write in CAPITALS.
IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS IT SEEMS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING. This can be highly annoying and might trigger an unwanted response in the form of a flame mail. Therefore, try not to send any email text in capitals.

9. Read the email before you send it.
A lot of people don't bother to read an email before they send it out, as can be seen from the many spelling and grammar mistakes contained in emails. Apart from this, reading your email through the eyes of the recipient will help you send a more effective message and avoid misunderstandings and inappropriate comments.

10. Do not overuse Reply to All.
Only use Reply to All if you really need your message to be seen by each person who received the original message.

11. Do not use email to discuss confidential information.

Sending an email is like sending a postcard. If you don't want your email to be displayed on a bulletin board, don't send it. Moreover, never make any libelous, sexist or racially discriminating comments in emails, even if they are meant to be a joke.

12. Use cc: field sparingly.
Try not to use the cc: field unless the recipient in the cc: field knows why they are receiving a copy of the message. Using the cc: field can be confusing since the recipients might not know who is supposed to act on the message.

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