Email etiquette

This is a lesson that’s probably for an audience of people who would not be reading this post, but on the off chance they read it, here goes:

1. Never use all capital letters. Especially in the email title.

2. If you’re going to send out images to 1200 people, figure out how to upload them to a server, then embed HTML code linking to your image in the body of your email, instead of sending them as attachments. When you add them as an attachment, the size of your email becomes massive, and you’re creating 1200 copies of the same file that sit in everyone’s inbox. Plus attachments can’t be read on a mobile phone.

3. You have roughly 80 characters for the message preview in most email clients. Try to communicate everything I’d need to know about your email in that space. If your email is short enough consider sending the entire message content in the subject line.

4. Never use more than one exclamation point.

5. Do not say your email is “High Importance” when it isn’t.

6. Double check your email for typos and factual content before you send it. Send a test email to yourself first. If you catch a mistake do everything in your power to avoid sending a second email. Followup “correction” emails are only appropriate if the recipient is Jack Bauer and the subject of the correction is the location of a nuclear bomb.

6b. Double check to make sure the recipient is correct. Be careful when the Reply-To email address differs from the From address. Do not ever confuse Reply and Reply All.

7. Try as hard as you can to limit your email to the appropriate audience; send to a class-specific listserv for example instead of the entire school.

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