Dr. Milan Stankovic

E–mail Etiquette Guide

To e–mails, when they require an answer, is replied within 48h excluding week–end and holidays, by at least one of their recipients.

An e-mail is considered to require an answer, if all of the following is true:

  • It is reasonable to believe that it is written by a person;
  • It is in compliance with this Etiquette Guide;
  • The sender expects an answer or there is a possible answer that either increments the state of information, or at least confirms existing information that the sender has;
  • The e–mail cannot be qualified as undesired.

If the e–mail has multiple recipients, the reply is made to all of them, unless there is a specific reason to exclude some of them.

If, when replying to a multiple-recipient e–mail, a new recipient is added, the addition must be explicitly acknowledged in the body of the reply.

The presence (and content) of any attachment files is explicitly acknowledged in the body of the e–mail.

The use of UPPERCASE letters is semantically equivalent to shouting.

The e–mail must have a non–empty subject. Non-ASCII characters should be avoided in the subject of the e–mail for compliance with older software.

The recipient e–mail addresses must include their name e.g. “Name Surname <name@example.com>”.

The expressions of politeness, culturally applicable to the status and to the relationship of the correspondents are applied to opening and closing salutations.

An e–mail might never arrive to the intended address. It can also be delivered to a wrong address.