I like e-mail, it is a terrific way to communicate, but. . . a mini-moan

What are good manners – etiquette – in using e-mails? Plenty has been written about it being bad manners to be verbose, to copy every single ‘I agree, message’ on a reply, but what is the correct way to respond to e-mails?

I try to make a point of replying to any I receive which require an answer – that is, those not merely conveying some sort of information. These mails frequently ask for help on a given topic, or for a quote to carry out some work. It takes time to comply with these requests, and I consider it poor manners not to acknowledge such a reply. Not necessarily the same day, but within 2-3 days.

Receiving a quick reply, even if it is a “sorry, your offer was not accepted this time”, is a boost.

So I Googled for some more information and found several very good items on the topic. Here is an except from Phil B.’s site – the one I liked best because its informal style is good and also because I agree with his viewpoint – so not an unbiased selection!

“If your job is like my job, then you also heavily rely on emails. I easily get a few hundred emails a day. Most of these emails are not important, however each day I get a few critical emails that must be replied to and replied quickly too. That is why I am very vigilant with reading and replying to my emails.”

The site linked here (no author or source is given) is good, it covers the basics – and although I expect most of us are well aware of these, it does no harm to have a refresher.

Here’s a little extract:-

“-Too many users assume that the minute someone receives an e-mail it, the person will read it. Bad assumption.

If you schedule a meeting for an hour from now and send an e-mail to each attendee, the chance that all the attendee’s will read that message within the hour will be pretty small. On the other hand, if you schedule the meeting for the next day, the chance that they will read the message will be pretty high. Remember, e-mail is not designed for immediacy (that’s why you have a telephone), it’s designed for convenience.”