Basic rules of email writing
This post is pasted from an email which my wife had written. (I won't disclose her name and email id ;-) ).
Good stuff. If people follow these rules in their professional career, it would make everyone's life much better ...
It is imperative that we all know certain basic rules about email writing.
- In the To field, always include the name(s) of the person(s) who is(are) expected to take action on the mail. If your name is in the To list of any received mail, then you are expected to reply and/or take action on that mail.
- In the CC field, always include the name(s) of the person(s) who is(are) NOT expected to take any action on the mail but are only in the loop for sharing the information. If your name is in the CC field, you need not reply and/or take action on the mail, but you are still expected to READ it! This is mostly for non-participating audience in a discussion or for senior members such as lead and managers.
- Please note that people have mail rules or filters defined based on To and Cc fields in their mail clients. They may only read mails where their name is in the To field on a daily basis and others they may be reading at later time. So if you need someone’s immediate attention, make sure you include their name in the To field.
- Only include those people in the Cc list, who really need to know about the mail. For eg., if someone has completed their induction session for a new joinee and is informing me, my name should be in To list and the new joinee’s name and his/her coordinator’s name should be in the Cc field. No one else needs to be copied on this information.
- Do not use too many informal or casual language, emoticon, exclamation marks in your mail. Do not mark anything in CAPs or BOLD unless you want attention brought to it. If you use it too often, people will start recognizing it as your style and will not take it to mean emphasis when you REALLY want to emphasize something.
- Try to keep emails to the point and short. Structure the mail into logical points and insert paragraphs where necessary. Your aim is that the recipient should read your mail. Make it easy for him/her to read!
- Run a spell check before sending. There is a facility to do this in Outlook.