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E-mail Etiquette

Friday, February 7, 2014  
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Orlando REALTOR® | JanuaryFebruary 2014

Avoid these common e-mail faux pas,
and endear yourself to recipients

By Amanda Sue Eberson

A recent article from Inman News complains about people using the signature line "Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse any typos.” But, a Stanford study shows that people are much more likely to forgive grammatical errors when an e-mail is sent from a mobile device.

While that issue is still under debate, here are some definite e-mail faux pas you should be avoiding.

Using an image for your e-mail signature

First, a lot of e-mail clients have images turned off by default. Second, you can’t copy-and-paste things from an image. Third, if someone needs to call you, they can’t quickly open up an e-mail from you and click on your phone number.

If you want to have your picture or your logo in your signature, make sure they are separate images.

Putting the entire content of your message in the subject line

Subject lines should be five words – tops! That’s why it’s called a subject line and not the message body.

Not using subject lines at all

Informative subject lines are appreciated by everyone. Most people receive 200+ e-mails per day, so a subject line can ensure your e-mails are read and help your recipients sort through their in boxes.

Using To, CC, and BCC incorrectly

The ‘To’ box is for the primary recipient of the email. The ‘CC’ box is for someone who requested or needs a copy of the e-mail.

The ‘BCC’ box should be used as a common courtesy when you are sending an e-mail to multiple people and at least one of the recipients may not be comfortable with all of the other recipients having their e-mail address. However, some argue that putting anyone in ‘BCC’ is rude if it is used to copy someone on an e-mail without the other recipients knowing.

Not taking the time to address all of the questions/concerns in the original email

When you’re replying to an e-mail, ensure that you have completely addressed all questions and concerns that were presented in the original email. It’s bad etiquette to reply to an e-mail with five questions and only answer one or two of them.


Amanda Sue Eberson is director of technology for the Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS®.


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