Ten Quick E-mail Etiquette Tips


  1. Pick up the phone vs. emailing or texting. You get a quicker response, can validate the perception of the conversation and obtain better results.
  2. Watch the distribution list. How many e-mails do you receive that contain information not important to you?
  3. Change the subject line to: Action needed by (and include the date), or FYI. Your e-mail will be taken more seriously and responded to more quickly because you cared enough to change the subject line vs. fwd: fwd: fwd: fwd:
  4. Don’t forward the e-mails about nothing: the cute stories, the wonderful poems, the lists of a zillion people who “care” and my personal favorite: if you don’t send on this e-mail address, a car will hit your cat.
  5. Attempt to limit an e-mail to one subject matter. This insures that other busy people will get back to you more quickly. If there are four points to cover, they may have answers to only three – then the answer is delayed because they have more information to gather for responding to the fourth request.
  6. Use common punctuation, including paragraphs in e-mail. One glomp of words in all lower case is really difficult to read. My preference? Bullet Points!
  7. Eliminate ‘Clutter’ words – junk food words that have no nutritional value, only sugar and fat – can smother your email message.” Check your message for clutter words.
  8. Dump the clichés: After all is said and done; By and large; Foregone conclusion; Simple truth is; Sneaking suspicion. (E-mail me Marsha@MarshaPetrieSue.com and I’ll send you a complete list of business clichés with my compliments.)
  9. Skip a line between paragraphs.
  10. Include the original e-mail with your response. People will not have to guess what you are referencing.


Do you have other tips and tricks to sending great emails? Let me know and I will post them!

Cheers, Marsha

Marsha Petrie Sue
Professional Speaker, Executive Coach and Best Selling Author

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One Comment

  1. Good list! Add, don’t indent previous emails – the first ones can become very narrow.

    In gMail, for instance, I FORWARD (no indent) vs REPLY (which indents), then check the subject (changing as you suggest) and add in the names I really want to go to.

    However, my Droid Apps don’t indent, so for quick exchanges, I use my tablet.

    Best, Kenton

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