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How’s Your E-mail Etiquette?

Posted in Marketing Tips

We all know how annoying e-mails can be. If we aren’t overwhelmed with the shear number received daily, we certainly are annoyed by the unwelcome spam. I have expressed some of my views on e-mailing,including how to be a more effective e-mailer, and how handwritten notes, although requiring more work, are more effective as a lawyer marketing tool.

Obviously, e-mails are very useful in today’s world, and I am certainly not advocating otherwise. Having said that, we should all be attentive to proper netiquette in their use. Gerry Riskin at Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices calls our attention to an article on the subject of signing e-mails that appeared recently in the The New York Times. It not only points out the importance of signing your email, but the landmines that can occur when using an inappropriate "sign-off"in a business relationship. Take a look. I know I will look differently at how I close my emails in the future.

Gerry also called our attention to a Netiquette Quiz from NetM@nners.com that includes issues other than just signing off your e-mail. I, of course, obtained a perfect 10 on my netiquette score!! Okay, that’s a lie, and I did learn a thing or two. You might find the quiz enlightening as well.

    1.Write good news, speak bad news – i.e. remember that your email could be Exhibit A in a lawsuit or on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper (or today’s Drudge Report).
    2.Stick to the facts – save the editorializing, posturing and spinning for your next telephone call or, better yet, your face-to-face meetings.
    3.The “e” in email does not stand for “emotional” – i.e. emails have content, often without context; they almost always fail to convey, or allow the receiver to perceive, the neutral, positive or negative tone the sender intended (emoticons included) and never reveal those vital non-verbal clues a speaker gives off that are often more important than the combined content/tone of a message itself; intentional flame mail is completely unacceptable.
    4.The number of recipients of an e-mail should be limited – i.e. save your desire for performing comedic and dramatic work for community theater audiences.
    5.Don’t hide behind your computer – i.e. walk down the hall, meet face-to-face or pick up the phone to talk, especially if several emails have gone back and forth without some sort of live conversation.
    Tom’s response: Excellent advice, Bob.