Email writing tips

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Email is one of the most popular applications used on the Internet. Unfortunately it is also one of the most abused. So, how does one use email effectively? Here are some rules and guidelines to help you.

Keep your email short and to the point. Your mail should include a meaningful and descriptive subject line. Use only plain text in your email. Messages do not necessarily translate well between different email programs if you are not using plain text. Use correct grammar and spelling. Poorly-worded and misspelt messages are hard to read and potentially confusing. Don’t attach files unnecessarily. Attachments take longer to download than plain text emails and can be a source of viruses. Don’t write in all CAPITALS as it is considered to be SHOUTING. Avoid sarcastic comments. Use emoticons or smilies sparingly (if at all).

Privacy and safety concerns

An email is neither private nor secure. Therefore be careful what you write. Do not discuss confidential or sensitive information in email. Check and double check all addresses and content before you send. Be careful about what you read – it is pretty easy to forge an email. Apply common sense before assuming any message is valid.

Don’t forward or bounce email unnecessarily. Never forward virus hoaxes, chain letters, petitions or “make money fast” schemes. Never reply to SPAM or junk mail – ever.

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