Learn something new every day More Info... by email
Email etiquette, which is a subcategory of general netiquette, is a skill that very few people formally learn. Most people who use email determine what is appropriate to send in an email based on the context and the recipient. Even so, some people need additional email etiquette training either as part of a job or for personal improvement. Such training is best received either through the company that specifies that a specific type of etiquette must be used or online for free. There is no need to spend money on email etiquette training for personal use because it is very simple and readily available online.
There is a single unifying principle that applies to all online interactions that can be used to simplify email etiquette training immensely. This principle is the idea that online interactions are exactly like interactions in the real world and should be treated as such. The Internet is not a special place in which social rules do not apply. In practice, this means that business emails should be written like business letters, while interactions between friends can be conversational or resemble notes. Essentially, anyone who understands business etiquette will understand email etiquette, so it is much better to choose the best general business etiquette training rather than just email etiquette training.
If email etiquette training is still necessary, the best option is to choose training that covers all aspects of email interactions. This includes the content of messages as well as the format. It may also include somewhat arguable rules, such as whether it is appropriate to send email attachments without permission from the recipient. Email etiquette training is not a formalized discipline in the way that table etiquette is fully regulated. Different people within the same business community have different opinions on what is appropriate to send in an email.
For businesses that are seeking to regulate the type of emails sent by employees, it may be wise to create a pamphlet or other document that can be used to inform employees of these rules. Understandably, a business may wish all employees to address business emails in a certain way or include certain information in the email. This type of etiquette is not common sense, and it is the company's responsibility to inform employees of expectations that go above and beyond basic email etiquette.
One consideration to keep in mind is that email etiquette training should always be free. There is nothing that an email etiquette course can teach that has not already been argued at length and documented online. Additionally, there is no reason to attend an email etiquette course in person unless one does not understand how to use a computer. Most rules concerning email interactions are very simple to implement into your online communications, and therefore this type of etiquette can be learned at home.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!