The time has come for another rant about the proper use of email.
I spend a lot of my time in my inbox and far too often I receive email that just infuriates me. There are a few rules I follow and live in hope that some day others will follow too.
- email account name: Your email account name eg. “Philip Roche” should include your company name eg. “Philip Roche (Karova)”. This helps people know who you are and what company you’re from without having to check the email address domain.
- email subject: Always have a descriptive subject. You need to describe the contents in the email in a few words. NEVER send an email without a subject, It will more than likely get ignored. The subject should under every circumstance relate to the contents of the email.
- describe context of the email: Every email needs context, you wouldn’t start a normal spoken conversation without some context as to what you’re talking about so why should it be any different in an email.
- signature: Every email should have a signature and the signature should include your full name, title, company name, company url and phone number. Don’t include your logo in your signature, you’re just clogging up my inbox with pointless graphic attachments.
- forwarding: When forwarding an email to someone – always explain why you’re forwarding it.
- simplicity: Keep your email styles simple (font family and colour).
- replying: When replying to an email, reply inline – it’s a lot easier to follow and the context of your comment is already there.
It’s all about context. All the above suggestions will help in the searchability, readability, understandability, sorting and professionalism of an email.
Follow these suggestions and I guarantee that the recipients of your emails will appreciate it (unbeknownst to them or not).
Did I miss anything?