A handy guide to email etiquette

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Subject Field

• Clear, direct subject line.
• Use the subject field with “End” to indicate that is the whole message. Possibly use FYI. e.g. ‘FYI – Weekly Exec Paper Done. End’ or ‘FYI – Meeting ran over, heading back to office now. End.’ Recipient can save their time and yours by not having to reply.

To CC or not to CC

• Use “To” if you are speaking to that person directly.
• Use “CC” if it is for information only.
• Do you need to “CC” the person in at all? Reply All
• Are you addressing everyone or just one person?
• Help reduce the burden of email by thinking before pressing “Reply All”

The purpose of your email

• What response are you needing back?
• Do you need feedback?
• Are there any timelines?
• Are you able to give helpful action points?
• Keep it clear, brief and simple. • Avoid long email trails. If you need to refer back to something 15 conversations ago, then attach the previous email and start afresh.
• Attach a helpful hyperlink to a file rather than repeating information in body of email.


Let people know if:

• You don’t need to be part of a distribution list.
• Somebody else should be on the list (to avoid you forwarding all the time)

Guide to email etiquette (42.74kB)