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Email Etiquette Part II
Author: Tim Taylor

Special Guest: From New York Will Schwalbe (on the phone)

Author of SEND: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home Email
A book about e-mails and e-mail Etiquette

Visit Will Schwalbe’s Web Site at:

The web site features the worse email stories posted by visitors to the site. You can also submit your own e-mail story.

Will’s next book will feature some of these stories and great “Reply to All” emails stories where the email was only suppose to be returned to one person and because the sender hit “Reply to All” everyone on that mail list got the email. Ooops!

What is the biggest mistake people make when sending emails?

Not enough clarity. Is this email just for information or do I need to do something with it.

Example: The shipment will be late.

The receiver of this email does not know if this is just for their information if they need to take action, what shipment? Who order it? Is it time sensitive?

Be more specific if the receiver of the email need to or does not need to take action.

Example: The shipment of 200 mousepads ordered by John Smith of TaylorWorks to your location will be late. It will arrive on June 28th rather than the expected date of June 23rd. Please contact us if you have any questions.

One problem emails can bring is someone who is typing up an email while being distracted.

People are not taking their time or writing emails while they are on the phone or talking to other people.

Another suggestion is to not have a whole list of questions in an email. The email will not be effective because the recipient will either choose not to answer right away because it will take too long or they will only answer a few questions.

Make your email more effective. Emails are great for yes or no questions. “Will you be at the party this weekend?”

Remember emails do not show the emotion on your face or the tone in your voice.

Take the time to put tone into it. It is important to add a greeting (hello, how are you today, good morning, good afternoon). Then say what you want so you don’t sound like you are barking at them.

Sample One

Are you finished the June marketing report?

Sample Two

Hi Joe,

How is your day going? Are you finished with the June marketing report.

Let me know.


The Advantages of email is that you can get to the point really quickly, but be cautious and more personable.

Emotional email

When emails get “hot” – pick up the phone and discuss the problem with the person.

Emotional emails can be dangerous. Nothing negative should never be written down and sent. It keeps coming back. When it’s read again – you still get upset.

Corporate Emails

Employers are not training their employees to send emails properly. In the past you would have to be in a management position to receive letterhead and create documents that represented your company. Today, e-mail is electronic letterhead that everyone has access to send on day one of employment. A company’s reputation can be ruined by an email.

Emails can be tracked. It is not a good idea to send personal emails during company time. Also, don’t send private information about the company in an email. It can be forward and end up in the wrong hands.

Does texting fall into the same rules as emailing?

(Texting question from Jarrod Taylor who sends up to 1,000 text messages a month)

Texting is marginally safer when sending emotional messages.

You are usually sending to a small group of people typically your family, friends, Girl/Boy Friend.

It’s more of a conversation than emailing.

Will’s Tips:

  1. People complain about how many emails they get in a day. When you send an email you can add at the end “No Reply Necessary”.
  2. If you are sending an email to a list of people

Tim’s Tips:

  1. If you are sending to a group of people – make sure to BCC the list so that everyone’s email is NOT viewed by all.
  2. When you send an email, especially a negative email, there is nothing stopping that person from forwarding that email. It is a permanent record.

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