Corporate email is a funny place, over the last year I made up a few rules for myself that I think can help others.
Just in case you did not know these on your own, here they are:
- No DLs on Virtual High Fives
Bcc DLs when giving kudos or thanking an individual or wanting to make it known. This will avoid the spam generated by other people using “Reply All” to high five the individual. Instead people can reply to the individual directly.
- Give context when you +SomoneNew
If you are adding someone to a long email thread and expect them to jump in and help, summarize the issue to set the context. Piecing the picture from bits of information in the thread can be very time consuming.
- If you put someone in CC do not expect replies
Use Cc only as an fyi, don’t address an individual and add them to Cc if you expect them to read your message.
- Don’t reply to a DL to be removed from the same! That s#it just goes viral.
When someone makes a mistake of using a DL with half the company on it, please don’t Reply All asking to be removed – you are spamming everyone on that DL. Just 2 weeks ago there was a remove me from the DL that generated 159(!!!) responses in under an hour. Either use the corporate DLmanager to remove yourself or Create a rule in your Outlook to trash emails with that subject line/DL instead.
- Constantly trim the distribution list
The culture of troubleshooting issues via email is here to stay, the larger the company the truer this is. So just try to get into a habit of Bcc’ing people who no longer need to be on the thread. If the email thread is never-ending and is turning into an IM chat, pick up the phone and call people, schedule a meeting with key individuals or do it via Skype/IM.
- Email Subject Line matters
Please make sure that your email’s subject line gives a brief summary of whats in the email body, just to save the time of the others if they need to read it full or not.
- Change the subject if you bifurcate
If you hijack a thread to start another discussion update the email subject accordingly. If the email subject is cryptic or not relevant to the discussion, update it.
Bonus habit: Let’s use common sense, when I can walk yo to u or call you, I should just do that. Hope this helps 😉