Content Marketing and Copywriting Etiquette

Published on September 20th, 2011 | by Amber Ricchetti


Email Etiquette Dos and Don’ts

Gentlemen Etiquette When I was growing up my dad would pull out Emily Post’s Etiquette for serious dinner table discussions – like proper manners for formal dinners, introductions, greetings, clothes, thank you notes, weddings and more. He had the first edition from 1922, and a lot has changed since then…a biggie being the internet, and how it has transformed our lives at work and home.

So, I thought it would be fun to talk about email etiquette for the modern day. Whether it’s a personal email, work/company email, or an email marketing message going out to your customers, there are general guidelines to follow that will strike a friendly chord with the person on the receiving end.

Email Etiquette Dos and Don’ts: 

  1. Before you get started, ask yourself why you’re sending this email. What’s the purpose?
  2. Do remember there’s a person on the other end of the email.
  3. Don’t send an email out of anger.
  4. Do ensure the subject line relates to the email content.
  5. Don’t address the recipient incorrectly (i.e., your personalization should be accurate).
  6. Do spell check.
  7. Don’t send or launch before you edit and proof.
  8. Do check the tone – how will it be received?
  9. Don’t write a novel.
  10. Do communicate clearly and concisely.
  11. Don’t lose your message or point.
  12. Do use scannable bullet points and short paragraphs.
  13. Don’t write in ALL CAPS.
  14. Do use images.
  15. Don’t use too many images.
  16. Do have a friendly salutation and a sincere good-bye.
  17. Don’t hesitate to say thank you.
  18. Do make sure you have the correct recipient (i.e., check your mailing list).
  19. Don’t include incorrect or broken links.
  20. Do provide a signature, contact information and company website.
  21. And finally: Type unto others as you would have them type unto you (phrase compliments of 101 Email Etiquette Tips).

There are lots of resources and email etiquette tips across the web. What are your favorites? Do you have a pet peeve?

© 2011 – 2012, Amber Ricchetti. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Amber Ricchetti

is a contributing author for VerticalResponse.

6 Responses to Email Etiquette Dos and Don’ts

  1. restpharm says:

    restpharm ,

  2. Bobby says:

    I was also curious about using colors when typing emails besides black? I always get an email from a person that types in Blue and that seem to be annoying to some people like myself.

  3. Charlotte Advertising says:

    Yes that’s true, thanks for those tips!
    Most of us effectively click on the “send” button without having checked the paragraph we’ve just written

  4. Gldnamby says:

    @Al – I agree. If your point can’t get across without an emoticon, you probably should re-word or be more specific to make sure what you’re writing can’t be misconstrued or misinterpreted.
    @Kat – So true. Text abbreviations are great for a quick text or even IM, but not a professional email.
    Overall it really comes down to understanding your audience.

  5. Al says:

    Agree with all of the above – great list. I would also watch emoticons and acronyms, they can be useful but it depends on your target audience – people may not know or understnad what they mean. Also don’t ever add extra exclamation or question marks like this !!!!?????

  6. Kat Dimas says:

    My pet peeve is when people email me and use text abbreviations!! Do not email me LOL or TTYL. I take those abbreviations as the person on the other end as having poor grammar and very lazy.

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