Email Etiquette

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know all about email. Not everyone, however, knows about email etiquette. In fact, some of you may have bad “netiquette” or bad email manners. Let’s take a look at some ways you can improve your messages and save your reputation.

How to write a good email.

Your email should include a proper greeting and closing. Unless you know the recipient really well, make sure you provide a short introduction.

It is also a good idea to make use of the subject line. The subject provides the reader with a reference and an easy way to search for the email later. Be sure to avoid subject lines that are in all caps, all lower case, and those with URLs and exclamation points. These might be confused as spam.

Do not list all of your contacts in the ‘To’ or ‘CC’ field. I often receive messages regarding matters of school or extra-curricular activities that involve a large group. Doing so exposes your contacts’ name and address to the entire group. When emailing a bunch of people who don’t necessarily know each other, please enter their addresses in the ‘BCC’ field. Use your name in the ‘To’ section. This step will make it so the contacts are not available for everyone to view.

Be careful of confidential information. Make sure your message goes to the person you intended to receive it. Refrain from discussing personal information that is highly sensitive.

Avoid shortcuts to real words when sending a professional email. Take the time to spell it out. And, if you wouldn’t put a smiley face emoticon on your business letter, you shouldn’t do it in this type of email either.
Keep the message short and to the point. Make sure what you’re sending doesn’t look overwhelming. The reader shouldn’t have to dig through several paragraphs to find the message.

Don’t overuse the ‘high priority’ option. If you overuse this feature, at some point, the recipient will no longer take it seriously. A better solution is to use a good description in the subject line.

Read and re-read before hitting the Send button. An absence of grammar and proper sentence structure reflects poorly on the sender. Proper grammar helps to ensure your message is not misunderstood or taken out of context. It is especially true when sending a formal or work email. It’s worth the time to check.

Missing an email?

If you think you’re missing an email, the first place to check is your email filter. Most email clients offer some filtering for bogus messages. Sometimes, a message gets interrupted on its way to your Inbox by a false positive only to land in your mail client’s Trash or Junk folder. With an ITC hosted account, we employ a SPAM and virus filtering service called Edgewave. This service is a state-of-the-art system designed to interrupt malicious both outgoing and incoming messages. Feel free to log in to your personal dashboard any time at

Remember every email is a reflection of you. If you don’t want to be known for bad ‘netiquette,’ use the above tips and stay professional.

-Lonny Dockendorf, The Broadband Guy