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E-Mail Communication

Check e-mail regularly throughout the day.

Establish reading priorities based on subject and sender.

Set up files for e-mails you need to keep.

Respond promptly to e-mails-at least within 24 hours of receipt.

Be polite and courteous.

Gain a reputation for sending e-mails that are easy to read and answer.

Prepare what you want to say ahead of time. Write down key points.

Tell the recipient what action you want them to take early in the e-mail.

Never respond if you are angry or feeling any strong emotion.

Never “flame” someone—use all caps or exclamation marks—or send spam.

Be brief, but not terse or abrupt.

Make requests, not commands.

Never send confidential or personnel information via e-mail. Remember, e-mails can be subpoenaed in legal actions.

Don’t give out someone’s e-mail address without his or her permission.

When sending e-mail to someone for the first time, use standard business letter forms of address. Use the person’s full name, title, organization name and address, and a formal greeting—“Dear Mr./Ms. [Name].”

Make sure your signature includes your full name, your title, your organization name, and your phone number.

Avoid jargon and acronyms.


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