After tabulating the results of the survey about email pet peeves that we ran last month on this blog, it turns out that your biggest email bugbear is the use of text speak in the body of an email. In fact, more than 1 in 5 of you think so. Here’s a list of the top five email pet peeves as voted by you our loyal blog readers:
- Use of text speak such as LOL and BTW (22%)
- Mass distribution emails to 5 or more recipients (16%)
- Use of ‘shouting’ CAPITAL letters (15%)
- No entry in subject line (12%)
- Read receipts (10%)
With those results in mind, we’ve teamed up with leading etiquette expert Jean Broke-Smith to put together the rules of email engagement. This guide should help you use email more effectively, and show you how you can get the most out of email.
Here it is the definitive guide to email etiquette and don’t forget to share it with your m8s ;-)
Do….create the right impression and banish the BTWs. People react to email within seconds of receiving it. As the Yahoo! research shows, text speak can be very annoying and shows a lack of correct spelling ability and laziness. It won’t impress!
Don’t… offend. Using capitals is the email equivalent of SHOUTING and is perceived as being extremely rude, so make sure your caps lock is switched off.
Do…. include a subject line. You’ve got three seconds to grab attention when an email appears and by not including a subject in the email, the chances of it being read are greatly reduced. Use the subject line for the purpose it was made and tell people what the email is about.
Don’t… use read receipts. Read receipts demonstrate a distinct lack of trust, so avoid where possible. Follow up with a phone call if you want to ensure your message has reached the right person.
Do… remember the recipient. The failsafe method for emailing is to imagine you are writing a succinct letter. Address the recipient in the correct manner and title. You can be light hearted and humorous as in any written communication, it is a just a matter of judgment. But if you don’t know the recipient, don’t be over familiar and sign off with the right degree of formality.
Don’t…. use CC and BCC unnecessarily. The no. 2 email bug bear is mass distribution of emails, so exercise constraint when it comes to copying people in. If the email is important to other people, simply forward to them at the end, rather than them being caught up in a never-ending email trail. Likewise use the BCC button wisely, again forward emails separately rather than ‘hiding’ other recipients.
Do… take your time. Because of the instant nature of emails it is tempting to deal with them immediately, but rushing an email can lead to errors. Deal with them promptly but don’t panic and reply in haste and always check what you have written before you hit send.
Don’t… over use ‘importance’. Before you even consider using a red exclamation mark, ask yourself is this really important? Only use when it is vital that the email is read, otherwise you are drawing unnecessary attention to yourself and it is a quick way of irritating recipients.
Do…save the kisses. Over familiarity towards your boss or work colleagues is bad etiquette, keep the love and kisses for very good friends.
Don’t… email when angry. If you receive a ‘harsh’ email, read it through, then close it and walk away. Consider your response and if necessary ask someone else to read your reply before you send it, don’t fight fire with fire.
Do… choose a sensible email address. Common sense tells you that you are less likely to land a job if you use a frivolous email address, such as, email@example.com. Think about what your email address says about you as it’s an insight into your personality.
Don’t… hide behind email. It is often easier to write something in words than it is to say it out loud, but don’t say something on email that you wouldn’t say in person. Emails have longevity and it can come back to haunt you!
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Team
There are few things more frustrating than losing access to your email – whether because you forgot your password or, worse, someone else guessed it – which is why we want to ensure that if it happens to you, the recovery process is as smooth and painless as possible. On that note, beginning this week, we’re rolling out some changes that will both improve recovery rates and make the overall Yahoo! experience even more reliable.
Here’s how it works: To help prove you are who you say you are if you ever lose access to your account, Yahoo! will now give you the option to provide additional account information such as an alternate email address and new secret questions. For US users, we will also incorporate the option to include your mobile phone number. We’ll store this information securely in your record so that if you ever lose access to your account, this data can be used to expedite the recovery process.
We’re doing this to help eliminate the headaches caused when people forget their registration details – you’d be surprised how many people can’t recall the basic information they provided when they signed up for their Yahoo! ID. In addition, with the advent of social networking and public profiles, details like your zip code or birthday may be publicly available, and we want to better protect your online experience by making sure you’re the only one who can accurately answer our account recovery challenges.
Beginning this week, after successfully logging into Yahoo! Mail, select users will be automatically redirected to a page where they will be asked to update their account with this new information. Users who wish to update their account information proactively can do so by visiting https://edit.yahoo.com/commchannel/manage. Also from now on, anyone who successfully recovers a lost or compromised account will be asked to update their information to this new standard at the end of the recovery process.
We take privacy very seriously at Yahoo!, and this is part of our overall commitment to providing a safe, easy to use, and reliable online experience. For more tips, be sure to check out our guidelines for spotting online scams and top tips for protecting your Yahoo! Mail account. You can also head over to antispam.yahoo.com for additional information on protecting yourself online.
On April 1st you may have noticed an advertisement from one of our trusted partners, Travelzoo, obscuring important parts of your Mailbox and making it difficult to use Yahoo! Mail. I want to let you know that the placement of the advertisement was a mistake on our end and in no way was Travelzoo responsible for the placement of the ad. We regret the mistake and want to let you know that we have sent the following letter of apology to our partners at Travelzoo:
On the evening of Wednesday 1st April, there was a human scheduling error at Yahoo! that resulted in showing a large Travelzoo ad in a part of Yahoo! Mail meant for a much smaller ad. This was not something that you – Travelzoo – asked for, nor was it something that Yahoo! would have knowingly approved for Mail, or on any of its properties.
As a result Yahoo! Mail users experienced difficulty accessing their Mail as the wrongly sized ad obscured necessary buttons. They may have thought that Travelzoo was the responsible party. We acknowledge that Travelzoo neither condones that particular ad placement nor had responsibility for the mistake.
As soon as Yahoo! became aware of the mistake, the error was rectified by midday on the 2nd April.
Yahoo! would like to apologise not only to Travelzoo for any negative impact to your brand, but also to the Yahoo! Mail users for the inconvenience caused.
We take responsibility to our advertisers and our users very seriously and will therefore use our best effort to ensure that it does not happen again.
Please do let us know if you have any further questions on this matter.
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Team