Emailing Faux Pas :(

March 22, 2010

Have you ever received a emoticon (emoticon = : ) or ; ) etc.) in a email from someone and found it to be really inappropriate? I have, and sadly I have been an offender as well. Often times sales people will include these “cute” gestures in their emails to clients and prospects, thinking that it will make them appear friendly and upbeat. Emailing a client is not the same as texting/emailing a friend or significant other, so when sending a message to someone who you are trying to do business with, veer on the side of “professional” versus “buddy-buddy.” Use pleasant and friendly words rather than the cheesy symbols – you will be taken more seriously.

In an entry written by blogger Blake Handler, I extracted five additional tips for practicing proper email etiquette:

• CHOOSE A MEANINGFUL SUBJECT LINE: Be clear, not clever or cute. Don’t be vague (i.e. “Hi there”) Use something relevant to clarify the email’s content. This also allows them to locate your email in the future.
• DON’T MISUSE REPLY ALL – Be careful when replying to an entire mailing list. It’s rare that the entire mailing list needs to see your reply.
• AVOID JOKES, HUMOR & SARCASM – Use your own humor and sarcasm sparingly; your wit will probably be misunderstood in print anyway.
• DON’T FLAG EMAIL AS URGENT – Unless required by your company; don’t use this feature because it doesn’t work with all email programs, and they’re typically ignored by most people.
• DON’T USE RECALL/REPLACE A MESSAGE – This feature simply does NOT work outside a company’s Exchange Server. Besides, you usually look unprofessional because your email had already been read.
DON’T TYPE IN ALL CAPS – Why this still needs to be a rule is beyond me. Mankind invented lowercase letters because they’re easier to read. STOP SHOUTING!

What are your thoughts? Is it ever appropriate to use the infamous smiley?