Thanks for the question on email etiquette. While some of your
business communcations might be company-specific, the following
information would be helpful for some good rule-of-thumb guidelines.
Electronic communication should follow standard business
correspondence in guidelines and tone. Miss Manners believes it is
always prudent to err on the side of formality in such cases.
"The question here is "How personal is too personal?" or to be more
specific, how do you open your e-mail: "Dear Sir", "Dear Mr. Smith",
"Joe" or none of the afore-mentioned.
If you posed this question to Miss Manners, I expect she would come
back with a quick answer - use the standard formalities -- but I don't
know that I would agree.
In a non-business situation, I would recommend that you bypass the
standard formalities. At most, I would only include something along
the lines of "Dear Virgil" or just "Virgil".
In the business situation, things are much more complicated. Each
situation will need to be evaluated on its on, but in general, I would
use the following as a guide: If you normally address a person as
Miss/Mrs./Ms./Mr. Smith then that's the way I would initially address
them in e-mail. If you normally call them by their first name then I
would either omit the salutation or follow the guideline specified in
the prior paragraph. If you are unsure, stick to the formal
salutation. It's the safest bet."
Same topic/same day email:
"Write a salutation or greeting for each new subject email. ***
However, if you exchange several emails over the same topic (for
example, a meeting day and time) it is not necessary to include a
greeting because it is as though you are carrying on a conversation.
When we carry on conversations, we do not say hello each time we
"Using a pre-programmed signature conveniently communicates all your
vital stats without having to constantly re-key them (and with no risk
of misspellings or transposed numbers). Leave no extra lines between
the closing salutation and your name, unless you have the capability
of inserting your actual signature. People usually include their full
name, title, and organization name. You may also add contact
information or a short promotional line or motto."
"Signature: If you use a preformatted email signature with your
business's contact information, be sure to type your name at the end
of your message as well. Relying on the signature in lieu of your name
can be construed as cold and impersonal."
32 Most Important Email Etiquette Tips:
Why Email Etiquette is Important:
Tips for Professional Email:
Writing Effective Email Messages:
Business Email Liability:
I trust this is the information you need, but if you need further
clarification or I can expand on any given point, I will be happy to
Google Answers Researcher
(it's usually just "V" but I'm doing a Miss Manners impression today)