Monday, August 6, 2012

Email Etiquette - Did you know...

Have you ever received an email and the subject line is all in CAPS?

We’ve all been tempted. We’re excited. We’re in a hurry and need an instant reply. Or maybe we’re ticked off and want someone to know it. So we scribble off that email using capitol letters, bold font, we underline and then hit send.

Yikes, we’ve just breached email etiquette.

Your recipient receives the email and thinks this must be important…

But whether it was important or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that in email all caps comes across as yelling. So if you want to yell, OPEN ME NOW, use all caps, but the recipient is going to feel aggression from your written tone before they ever read your email.

Now let’s talk about all caps within the body of the email. There really is never a time when all caps are needed within an email. You’re a professional, composing a professional email. Do you really need to yell to make your point? If you need to bring attention to a certain section of your email, set it apart with an *, put the section in italics, or

set it apart with a space before and after.

Then you’ll ensure the recipient takes note of the important part of your email. Using bolded font or changing the color, and size of the font can also come across as aggressive.

Email is a written conversation. Always, always, begin your email with a greeting. Hello, Good Afternoon, Hi, Dear, any greeting will do. Hello is the first thing you hear on the telephone and should be the first thing you read in an email. Would you hang up on a business call without saying goodbye or saying thank you? Without signing your email, you leave the recipient with the feeling you just hung up on them. Your sig line isn’t enough to relay a salutation. Thanks, along with your name are needed to close the email.

When you’re emailing your publisher, your editor, your cover artist, or your marketing director, remember, you’re communicating with your business associate. In an email, a person can’t hear happiness, but they can guess at your anger if you’re using all CAPS, you don’t address the email, within the body of the email your bolding your font and you don’t finish off with a thanks.

Email etiquette goes both ways. You want the person receiving your email to know you value their time and attention to whatever you’re emailing them about. You can expect a reply email with an equal amount of respect and etiquette. In email, all we have to express our needs are our written words.

I know I speak for myself and other staff here at The Wild Rose Press when I say we want to help authors in any and every way possible. There’s no need to yell or show aggression with the way an email is composed.

The only exception to these email etiquette guidelines is when the email recipient is a friend, or if the email is an ongoing conversation. You won’t need a formal hello and goodbye when you’re emailing back and forth.

Thank you and wishing you a wonderful week,
Lisa Dawn
Marketing Director
The Wild Rose Press
The Wilder Roses


KyAnn said...

I remember the first time I was called out for using all caps. I posted to a yahoo loop. I used all caps to announce my very first release...and a reader emailed to say she wouldn't buy my book because I didn't know how to write an email and she'd appreciate my not yelling in future emails. yikes, I apologized and slunk back into my writing corner.

Barbara Edwards said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I am so guilty of some of these, like not using a greeting. I'll certainly be more careful now.
Barbara Edwards

NicDarienzo said...

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I think because email is such a casual medium people forget their manners. I still bristle when I get an email that begins "Hi Nicole" from someone I'm not acquainted with--call me old fashioned but until you and I have established a relationship you are Ms./Mr. So and So and I am Ms. D'Arienzo. I'm shocked at how many of our incoming queries begin with someone I don't know using my first name.

It's a minor thing but sometimes it's best to start out with your best food--and manners--forward.

Maggie said...

I hope that's a typo, Nic.

But if you want to put some food forward, I'm happy to jump in line.



NicDarienzo said...

Hmm... typo or a Freudian slip, Maggie? I'll never tell. hee hee. Just make it chocolate, 'k??

Nancy Jardine Author said...

I have to say I've been following the example of others where they capitalize their book title in an email since I started emailing and blogging last year. I had no idea that was regarded as being rude! Thanks for the info.

Cloud Anti-Spam Provider said...

Using all caps can be interpreted in many ways. So, thank you for this blog because you have truly enlightened readers on the importance of e-mail etiquette even in the smallest details.