Use sentence case.USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS LOOKS AS IF YOU'RE SHOUTING. Using all lowercase letters looks lazy. For emphasis, use asterisks or bold formatting to emphasize important words. Do not, however, use a lot of colors or graphics embedded in your message, because not everyone uses an e-mail program that can display them.
Use the blind copy and courtesy copy appropriately. Don't use BCC to keep others from seeing who you copied; it shows confidence when you directly CC anyone receiving a copy. Do use BCC, however, when sending to a large distribution list, so recipients won't have to see a huge list of names. Be cautious with your use of CC; overuse simply clutters inboxes. Copy only people who are directly involved.
Don't use e-mail as an excuse to avoid personal contact.Don't forget the value of face-to-face or even voice-to-voice communication. E-mail communication isn't appropriate when sending confusing or emotional messages.
Remember that e-mail isn't private.E-mail is considered District property and can be retrieved, examined, and used in a court of law. Never put in an e-mail message anything that you wouldn't put on a postcard. Remember that e-mail can be forwarded, so unintended audiences may see what you've written. You might also inadvertently send something to the wrong party, so always keep the content professional to avoid embarrassment.
Be sparing with group e-mail.Send group e-mail only when it's useful to every recipient. Use the "reply all" button only when compiling results requiring collective input and only if you have something to add.
Use the subject field to indicate content and purpose.Don't just say, "Hi!" or "From Laura."
Don't send chain letters, virus warnings, or junk mail.Direct personal e-mail to your home e-mail account.
Remember that your tone can't be heard in e-mail.E-mail communication can't convey the nuances of verbal communication. In an attempt to infer tone of voice, some people use emotions, but use them sparingly so that you don't appear unprofessional. Also, don't assume that using a smiley will diffuse a difficult message.
Use a signature that includes contact information.To ensure that people know who you are, include a signature that has your contact information, including your mailing address, Web site, and phone numbers.
Summarize long discussions. Scrolling through pages of replies to understand a discussion is annoying. Instead of continuing to forward a message string, take a minute to summarize it for your reader. You could even highlight or quote the relevant passage, then include your response. Some words of caution:
If you are forwarding or reposting a message you've received, do not change the wording.
If you want to repost to a group a message that you received individually, ask the author for permission first.