Michael Levin: 15 Key Rules of E-Mail Etiquette and How to Write High Impact E-Mails Part Two

July 14, 2018

As we discussed in my last article, I constantly hear from my clients how frustrated they are regarding E-Mails.  Whether it is the number of E-Mails they get, to how poorly they’re written, to the lack of response to the E-Mails they send, managing E-Mail communication is a challenge for the majority of us.

In my last article, I shared 1-8 of my 15 Key Rules of E-Mail Etiquette and writing high impact E-Mails.  In this article, I’ll share 9-15.

I previously asked you how many of you have experienced any of the following.

  • You receive way too many E-Mails to handle or respond to on a daily basis.
  • Being included in “Reply-All’s or “FYI’s” when there is no need.
  • Lengthy E-Mails with too much data.
  • Not getting responses back or responses taking too long, especially when it impacts your customers.
  • Inappropriate E-Mails whether those that shouldn’t be shared or E-Mails sent in the heat of the moment that end up causing conflicts.
  • E-Mails being sent that damage either internal or customer relationships

In this article, I’m going to share my rules 9-15 with you on E-Mail etiquette and how to write more effective and high impact E-Mails.

  • 9. Don’t have a conversation over E-Mail. If you have gone back and forth 3 times, see them in person or pick up the phone.  In fact, if they work in the same building as you, think about if seeing them in person instead of sending an E-Mail in the first place is more efficient.
  • 10. Don’t E-Mail when you’re angry.    If the situation is sensitive and emotion is involved, talk in person or at worst over the phone.
  • 11. Use meaningful and descriptive subject lines. Double check subject lines as they may need to be changed to be accurate during an E-Mail exchange.
  • 12. If it’s urgent, consider picking up the phone or seeing them in person. If it’s urgent and you have to write them, put an actual time in the subject line to indicate when you need to receive a response.
  • 13. Try to respond within 24 hours to all E-Mails.
  • 14. Be mindful of your tone and how your E-mail can be interpreted. Re-read it to help ensure it’s received properly.  Much of our communication is through body language and vocal tonality which are difficult to convey through an E-Mail.
  • 15. Don’t use E-Mails for criticism. E-Mails are fine for praising or commending and also try to do so in person as well.

I’ve had many post this list and send this out.  I hope you will find that by using this list, and sharing with others, you may find E-Mails to be more of the efficient tool they were intended to me instead of the headache it is for so many of us.