5) Don't use e-mail as an excuse to avoid personal contact.
Don't forget the value of face-to-face or even voice-to-voice communication. E-mail communication isn't appropriate when sending confusing or emotional messages. Think of the times you've heard someone in the office indignantly say, "Well, I sent you e-mail." If you have a problem with someone, speak with that person directly. Don't use e-mail to avoid an uncomfortable situation or to cover up a mistake.
6) Remember that e-mail isn't private.
I've seen people fired for using e-mail inappropriately. E-mail is considered company property and can be retrieved, examined, and used in a court of law. Unless you are using an encryption device (hardware or software), you should assume that e-mail over the Internet is not secure. Never put in an e-mail message anything that you wouldn't put in a letter. Remember that e-mail can be forwarded, so unintended audiences may see what you've written. You might also inadvertently send something to the wrong party, so always keep the content professional to avoid embarrassment.
7) Be sparing with group e-mail.
Send group e-mail only when it's useful to every recipient. Use the "reply to all" button only when compiling results requiring collective input and only if you have something to add. Recipients get quite annoyed to open an e-mail that says only "Me too!"
8) Use the subject field to indicate content and purpose.
Don't just say, "Hi!" or "From Debbie." Make the subject line meaningful to the recipients.
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