1. CC vs. BCC
The use of BCC is great for emails with long lists of recipients, for example company wide emails. When the recipients of the email do not all necessarily know each other, using BCC is courteous, particularly with personal email. Make sure you respect the privacy of your contact list as not everyone wants their email address shared.
CC is best in emails when smaller groups of people are involved. You may want to CC someone on an email who doesn’t necessarily need to participate in the conversation but who does need to be in the loop. Using CC lets all recipients know who is part of the email thread.
2. Reply vs. Reply All
Only use Reply All when you are sure that your reply is essential information for everyone on the recipient list, otherwise you’re just clogging up other people’s inboxes unnecessarily. On the other hand, be sure to use Reply All when working as a part of a group or team to ensure that everyone is receiving the same information.
3. Let’s start fresh
Continuing an email thread back and forth is a simple and easy way to communicate, but be careful not to tangle the thread. Replying back and forth is quick, but when starting a new topic it is appropriate to start a new email with a new subject line as well. If you’ve been emailing back and forth with a co-worker regarding a meeting time, its time to start a new email when you have a question about the project you’ve been working on. This keeps emails more organized and the recipients focused on the current subject of the email.
4. Think about your subject line
A meaningful and pertinent subject line can be extremely helpful for recipients who sift through hundreds of emails a day. For someone scrolling through their inbox, a subject line that gets straight to the point saves them time. This is also your chance to convey the importance of your email, so give the subject line some thought before you hit send.
5. A right to privacy? Forget it!
Your work email belongs to your company, not to you. Your employer has the right to monitor and intercept your email, to access email you have received, even to retrieve from your computer’s hard drive email that you long ago dumped or deleted—and your employer is also free to act on what he or she finds. Sending proprietary company data to a friend is the same as stealing confidential documents from a file. And insulting bosses or the company in an email rant is the same as slapping them in the face. More companies are setting email policies and communicating them to their workers. Some policies are actively communicated, but it’s a mistake to assume that in the absence of a policy statement, you are free to use office email as you like.
6. Don’t accept packages from strangers
Computer security is more important today than ever before. While we cannot totally stop computer viruses and spam, there are some things that can help to keep your computer safe.
- Use virus protection software.
- Avoid opening email from people you don’t know.
- Never open an attachment until you’ve checked the source.
7. Keep an eye on your junk
Your junk email folder is a great tool that keeps useless and potentially harmful emails out of your inbox, but don’t forget about it altogether. Be sure to check your junk email folder every few days. You never know which emails it may decide to filter out, and they could be legitimate ones.