Digital Etiquette – Subject Lines

E-nails have a subject line – please use it. The subject should be specific and aid the other person in processing your e-mail. 

Also consider who your recipient is. If you are emailing finance then don’t just put ‘Invoice’ in the subject line – but something about more descriptive e.g ‘invoice for front office from Staples (invoice no:3512) 

Replying to an old e-mail may be the easiest way of ensuring the mail is correctly addressed, but if you are starting a new topic or discussion ensure you put a new title. 


Digital Etiquette – CC and BCC

CC means Carbon/Courtesy Copy – and should be used where a recipient needs to be aware of the e-mail but doesn’t have any actions and isn’t directly involved. 

BCC should be used if you are sending out something like a newsletter and the recipients don’t need to or shouldn’t know who else is receiving the mail.  If you send lots of these and they are to external addresses then a service like MailChimp is really useful as it will avoid accidentally sending to everyone (and the subsequent replies) and it will also handle unsubscribes legally for you too.


Digital Ettiquette – onetime logo

Death by PowerPoint – we’ve all experienced it. This is a simple plea – only have your company or organisation logo appear once in the slide deck. 

If you’ve introduced yourself clearly then the audience is not going to need a reminder 5 minutes in on slide 70. 

The chances are your presentation is going to be for the delivery of information, or telling a story – not direct marketing or branding. 

Corporate templates may seem like a good idea, but try saying the name of your company each time you advance to the next slide, and you’ll quickly see how silly they are. I’ve seen templates that swallow up a third of the slide – that just leaves your remaining message cramped.  


Digital Etiquette – File Sizes

You should check the size of any file you send via e-mail. Great, thanks for the 1 page newsletter – now tell me how you managed to get it to be 4megabtes in size. 

There are lots of guides out there that tell you about how file sizes are measured so you can get used to checking what you are sending.  As a rule if it is an unsolicited e-mail (regardless of how important you think it is) then the size of it should come in at under 1megabyte.


Digital Etiquette – Attachments

If you are sending something out as an attachment then send it as a pdf file. This will ensure that no matter what system they view it on (Mac, Windows, iOS, android, chromeOS, etc) it will render pretty much as you sent it.

Text won’t get moved due to subtle difference in fonts, document converters won’t mangle your exquisitely layed out table, and there is no risk of accidental corruption during printing. 

The other side effect is that it makes document management far easier for the recipient as the files that they will receive will mostly be PDFs and they won’t end up of a folder full of someone else’s editable documents. 


Digital Etiquette – e-mail siguatures

E-mail signatures – you need one for new e-mails. This should contain as a minimum. 

  • Name
  • Job Title
  • Employer
  • E-mail address
  • Phone number(s)

It should not contain

  • Graphics
  • Quotes

It should ideally be in plain text, with no formatting used. 

You should also have a second e-mail signature used for replies. This should just contain name, job title, and e-mail address. 

People will ask why an e-mail address when this will be evident from the e-mail client. This is true only if you are a sender or recipient. If your e-mail is forwarded, ther is no guarantee the client will preserve your e-mail address in the header.