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Email the perfect way!

Sending emails of the wrong kind or the ones that convey the wrong message can socially distort your image or send you up the creek. Divya Arya shares the tips on how to get that perfect piece.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2009 18:10 IST
Divya Arya
Divya Arya
Hindustan Times

It's an E-era we live in today. Sending emails of the wrong kind or the ones that convey the wrong message can socially distort your image or send you up the creek. Here's your way to avoid the trouble.

1. Don't type in all-capital letters. Typing in all caps is a major email faux pas. Besides being distracting and difficult to read, it appears as though you are screaming at the recipient!

2. Don't use funky, distracting fonts and colors. An email that comes through written in small, pale pink text will be hard for the recipient to read. You're safer sticking to the standard black, 12 point text in classic fonts like Times New Roman or Arial !

3. Follow proper grammar rules. Check your spelling and try not to abbreviate. Nothing comes across worse than an email that is littered with misspellings and typos. Email slang and abbreviations are prevalent, but not everyone knows that JK means "just kidding" or HTH means "hope this helps."

4. Don't send large attachment files, such as pictures, without telling the recipient first. If the recipient has a dial-up Internet connection and you send an email that contains 20 pictures, it will take considerable time for the pictures to load on his/her computer--and the computer will be tied up for an eternity while the person waits for your email to appear!


Don't forward chain emails

. Just as you wouldn't send a paper chain letter to certain people, don't clog up their email inbox by forwarding junk chain emails either. Most people do not appreciate chain mail of any sort, and yes, you will definitely not die if you forward such mails!

6. Lay off the Sarcasm.To some people sarcasm is offensive; to others it's a lost art. Whether or not you believe in the goodness of sarcasm, email is really no place for it. You may send an email that is meant to lighten the mood or convey a little laughter, but it might not come across as funny; it might just come across as insulting. For this reason, keep your emails free of jokes and save the sarcasm for face-to-face encounters

7. Be Brief but not too Brief. Brevity is often a good thing to employ. People are busy and nothing makes a busy person angrier than having to read an email that is seemingly delivered in volumes. Too much brevity in an email, however, can be misunderstood. Replying to an email with the words "Fine" or "Yes" may, on your end, seem plain and to the point, but to the recipient, your briefness may be misconstrued as curtness. You can be brief, but be brief in one or two sentences, instead of one or two syllables

8. Forward the content, not the scrap. When forwarding emails, please copy the pertinent information only and paste onto a new email. Please do not forward the list of personal email addresses that received the information prior to your forwarding. Its an email, not a directory listing!

9. Sign your emails. You might have an email address: or, but the recipient probably doesn't memorise email ids usually for recognition. Indicate who you are and sign the email with your name. This way, everyone remains happy!

10. Check the tone of your emails. Email is a very tricky medium. Because the recipient cannot see your face or hear your voice, your email message may not always be interpreted as you intended. Be crisp and precise. Otherwise, you'll have a lot of explaining to do either in-person or on the phone-- and that defeats the whole purpose of using email, now, doesn't it?

First Published: Jun 08, 2009 14:55 IST