Personalization in email is a delicate matter. One should always try to add some form of uniqueness to messages. This is evidenced by the chart above. However, the way this is achieved is really important and some of the key items are noted below.
Extended business correspondence or interaction might become friendlier and less formal over time. These business friendships lend themselves to bits of personal information being exchanged. Such relationships and the knowledge they bring can be very useful in building rapport, trust, and better business success. Netiquette certainly includes asking and conveying niceties, some more specific than others. Emails conveying a good balance are preferable and typically more effective.
There are inherent pitfalls in writing about personal topics. One of the most obvious of these is depicting personal information not known to other recipients, some of whom may be total strangers. Another drawback is that any third party might be uncomfortable, or deem unprofessional, having anything but business tone and content. Yet one further drawback to conveyance of personal information is “too much information,” where the personal content overshadows the business at hand.
Care should be taken to minimize personal small talk when topics are in an emergency or crisis mode as well, for such chitchat may be viewed as deflecting or minimizing the real purpose of the communication. The same holds true for topics such as financial negotiations, and legal, medical, or job emails. Once more serious conditions are removed or settled, it is far more appropriate to continue with a better-balanced tone and content. Essentially, the more serious or complex the central issue, the less time and attention should be given to personal or peripheral information.
My book is now atop the Amazon Netiquette list. Please go to Amazon and search for "netiquette" . There is a wonderful review from Kirkus as well.
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About Netiquette IQ
My book, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email" and the Kindle version are now available on Amazon. Please visit my author profile at