Friday, December 14, 2012

Netiquette rules for sending emails

The last blog initiated descriptions of Netiquette rules and suggestions for sending emails in terms of times and other considerations. This posting will expand upon this topic. Any questions on this area or other aspect of Netiquette are welcome and can be directly posted as well. Suggestions on how to expand the NetiquetteIQ blog page are welcome also.

International emails

It has already been stated in the last blog how instant mail communication can be properly utilized with correct Netiquette.  This applies to international communications as well. Care and consideration should be given to the time windows.  It cannot be expected for an overseas person to quickly reply to a message which is received off hours to them but prime time in the United States. There are many time zone references available on-line.  If a message does need to be sent off hours, it is highly desirable for the sender to let the recipient know he (the sender) is aware of the difference and if a reply or action is anticipated, that an appropriate adjustment and/or expectation has been made.


            "The sky is falling" 

                                            - Chicken Little
Proper Netiquette is sometimes overlooked by using an overemphasized subject line which does not deliver or correspond to some related topic or presumption in the content of the email itself.  Although a good, accurate and relevant or interesting subject line is needed, exaggerated wording or format can be misleading and ruin a message. So can a weak or unrelated one that is vague.  Even though a more attention grabbing subject field may elicit a greater chance of being read, to do so consistently, without merit, may produce a dismissive reaction on future communications. Similarly, the frequent use of excessive email program flags, such as red exclamation marks, will also usually produce the opposite of the intended effects.  When utilized properly, importance in subject fields or signifiers will be appreciated, welcomed and read.

Unintended Bait and Switch

Just as email promotions from many companies, an exaggerated subject line might completely differ from the intended target message.  Although this tactic may be deliberately used for spam marketing, it should not be used with non spam messages.  Sometimes this action is not intended. One cause might be a lack of concentration in changing the subject line for the convenience of not having to open a new email template and completing the fields. 

The reused template may also contain unintended urgent flags.  The subject field might also contain previous multiple punctuation marks, all upper case letters or sensitive topics.  There is rarely an instance to reuse messages or templates and new "clean slate" formats should be utilized.  The potential risks of not doing so are too high.

Sending Templates

Similar to replying to emails with "personalized templates" is often transparent, templates for sending can be proper Netiquette although not ideal. Their use is highly preferred to a mail-n-merge whenever at all possible.  These messages are best for general mail where a recipient is not well known, or likely may not be contacted again.  Some examples of these are:

1)   Thank you for meeting, orders, interviews, etc.

2)   Company hire

3)   Survey or opinion

4)   Reminder

5)   Retirement/Promotion/Award

6)   Seasonal Event

7)     Meeting schedule

8)     Rejection of a bid, offer or job request

9)     Company announcement

10)   Referral of a colleague or group
        Once again, it should be stressed that the best Netiquette for email is  to personalize as much as possible to maximize positive tone, insure best results and preserve positive relationships.


Yesteraday's quiz was:

Which head of state sent the first email? Guess which year as well.
1. Queen Elizabeth
2. Ronald Regan
3. Fidel Castro
4. Mikhail Gorbachev
5. Sadam Hussein
The correst answer is Queen Elizabeth in 1981.

Today's  quiz is: When was the first email sent from space?

1. 1971

2. 1980

3. 1985


5. 1995

Which country was responsible for the first email?

1. The United States

2. Russia/Soviet Union

3. Israel

4. China

5. North Korea

The answers will appear in the next blog posting.