Artemy Lebedev

§ 189. Email etiquette: 10 commandments

May 10, 2018

Nowadays, it’s practically impossible to meet a person who can correctly put together an email with respect to its recipients.

First, don’t leave the line „On 18 Jan 2018, at 18:14, Vasya Pupkin wrote:“ in your answer. It is 100 % useless. The author perfectly knows who they write to and what for. If they need to find out exactly when the email was sent, they will simply look it up.

Second, don’t quote the whole letter, only the most important part. It is particularly infuriating when someone leaves the addressee’s signature in the footer. Why? In case the author of the original email forgets their name and email address?

Third, separate your answer from the quote by an empty line and insert double empty lines between different quotes.

Fourth, remember the great rule: the answer should be longer that the quote.

Fifth, never send anyone an archive with pictures. Simply insert the pictures into the email. Otherwise, the user has to save the archive onto the desktop, unzip it, open the folder and scroll through pictures. And what if they need them again tomorrow—do they have to download it again or keep the folder on the desktop? To cut it short, pictures should always be included in the email.

Sixth, sending an email larger than a couple of megabytes is a disrespect to the recipient. It is particularly infuriating when someone attaches a 20MB presentation to an email.

Seventh, never put text into a Microsoft Word file. What for? The email displays text perfectly, so what is the purpose of putting it somewhere else? If the addressee needs the text for some purpose, they will copy it into a separate file, but the author can’t remember a situation when he actually needed to do it.

Eighth, the signature should occupy no more than 3-4 lines and should not include any pictures, logos or Save the Forest signs.

Ninth, the From field should include your full name or nickname. Because the letter from „Alex“ is uninformative—the author gets 50 letters from different Alexes per day. And the search won’t help if you need to find a letter from Alex.

Tenth, always specify the subject of the letter. And if it changes in the course of the conversation, don’t hesitate to update it. So you won’t discuss you contract on turbine bucket supply in a thread called „Re: Re: Re: Re: Chicks and hash )))“.

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