How Not To Be Annoying And Incompetent At E-mail

Just because you’ve fired off dozens of emails every day for more than a decade, it doesn’t mean you’ve been doing it right. You may reinforcing bad habits with each misfired message, unaware that you’re rankling friends, business contacts and customer service reps.

Over at Speak Softly and Carry a Red Pen, Mehnaz offers five pieces of email etiquette to follow:

*Watch your tone. Sarcasm can come across as cruelty and silliness can seem like idiocy. Make sure you’re getting the intended message across.

*Step away from caps lock. ALLCAPS seem unprofessional, childish and angry. They rarely make you look good.

*Say please and thank you. It’s easy to be curt and demanding when sending e-memos. Stay polite in order to avoid coming off as rude,

*Save questions for the end of messages. Whatever you end with will stick out in the recipient’s mind, so if you want something answered don’t bury it up top.

*Don’t ramble. People go through tons of messages, sometimes dismissing them within seconds. Stay on message and don’t be wordy so you don’t waste their time.

Do you agree with Mehnaz’s advice? What are your email pet peeves?

Email Etiquette: The 5 Important Things We Often Forget [Speak Softly and Carry a Red Pen]