Email Protocal, right? I know.
I have this deep seeded love for people who have only a basic understanding of computers. These are the folks who don’t spend all day on it, constructing websites, coding like crazy people or creating through some social media network. The folks who don’t know that blue highlighted words are links… who don’t know that CAPITALS MEAN YELLING or that coloured words only make me skip the paragraph (can I get an amen?) This list is for them, bless their hearts (that one’s for you Greg).
9 things you should know before pressing send:
- Note that there are three types of TO: fields: “To” is for people you would like to respond, “CC” means Carbon Copy, it’s for people who need a copy but don’t need to respond, “BCC” is where you put email addresses of spies and bosses.
- The subject line is where you write a little phrase about what’s in the email. This being said, words like ‘Hi’ or ‘check this out’ don’t count
- Oh. And the words URGENT or PRIORITY are going to go right into the queue with all the other ones. Points for creativity here.
- Font colour: Pick one. Make it visible, like black or dark grey. Remember that rainbow text looks like the signature line and won’t be read (note #)
- Font size: Be consistent. A little bigger is a nice change but switching size half way through at all is risky, especially if you don’t want to come off as angry or a whisperer. Both can be misconstrued as condescending and possibly ignored.
- Font Style: This includes bold, italics, underline and strikethrough. Bold could be takes as ferocity in certain circumstances especially when combined with #4, #5, #7. Italics generally imply stupidity, like you need to take note of this word, because you obviously didn’t get it in the last email. And strikethrough… is just damn funny when used properly. If you don’t feel confident in it’s use… don’t use it. Actually, let’s think of font style like knee-high, tie-up-only Dr. Martins. Be ready to defend them.
- Font case: This is the most important. Capital letters mean YELLING. Always. CamEL CaSe is very strange to read and should only be used in the utmost silly of situations. all lower case makes you look like you failed grammar class or that the person is not worth moving your pinky over to the shift key. only use in personal emails or if trying to be cute.
- Email Signatures: Mostly, people don’t read these if they contain any font case, colour or size changes. Points deducted for jumping emoticons or large drawings made of unusual characters, especially in the professional world. Try using your name, telephone number, website and a clever (read: short) quote. It’s always nice to write an appropriate salutation. Note: ‘cheers’ IS overused.
- Above all though, read over the content of your email. Heck, read it more than once. Make sure your ‘you’re, your, their, there, they’re, to, too, two etc are correct. And if you find yourself skimming over parts, consider taking them out, cause other people probably will too. (Seriously. I have 150 freakin’ emails in my box every day…) Ahem.
That should do for now.