The use of e-mail is a skill that many people don't master. By writing e-mail to me, and to other persons, they manage to annoy me, piss me of and even insult me just by not thinking on how the reciever of the e-mail might percieve it.
Take for instance the subject in email messages. Gore didn't invent that so that it just can be ignored. USE it, damnit! Message with no subjects move to /dev/null immediately and I tend to ignore message with stupid subjects like 'reminder' or 'urgent: I need this' or 'help' or '[customername]'. This won't help me finding back a message between 500 others. Subjects should be short, descriptive and help me find things back. For example '[customer] has called, please call back' or 'problems with connection to the database' are just fine. Some people, especially co-workers, just don't understand this, even after saying around 50 times how to do it.
Well after the subject appealed me, and the message didn't end up in /dev/null, I get severly annoyed by messages like:
Please call [customer] back.
That is without greeting, without providing information who called me, what (s)he wanted and signature. This kind of stuff doesn't help me at ALL! Be spefic in email so that I can prepare myself calling back. Something like this would be fine:
Hello, [customer] called and asked what the status of his site is. Please call him back. [co-worker-name]
This message looks nice, provides information, and I know who I can kick if the information was not correct.
I love messages in all caps. This is the fastest way to delete your message. It is rude and NOBODY REALLY LIKES TO READ TEXT IN ALL CAPS. I just got this email:
PLEASE WEEK 14 UNTIL 17 I AM WAITING ON IT AFZ [name]
and this from a chick who needs something from me. Well, if you need something from me she should use: a. A subject, b. NO FRICKING CAPS, c. Be patient. I have more to for other customers which pay better.
This brings me on the next subject, patience. Don't ever expect me to write back within 5 minutes. I won't ever answer you immediately, unless 1. i'm having an email conversation with you, 2. it's very urgent, 3. you're an extremely hot chick. Message with the words 'urgent', 'fast', and 'now' in it only annoy me and cause me to respond much later, or even never. Sending the same message twice, or with the word 'reminder' in it won't help. I hate this!
Okay, that was some ranting about content of emails, but there is more! Like auto-responders. I really don't appreciate receiving an 'I got your message' email without useful information in it 10 seconds after I send you a message. Just answer me, doesn't need to be NOW, but telling me you got my message only wastes bandwidth.
Replying to emails is a special profession too. If you reply to my emails:
Don't delete ALL my text and show me only your response. I forget things and retaining the relevent original parts of my message eases processing your reponse a lot.
Be relevent to the original email if you retain the same subject line. It's much easier to seperate different discussions if the subject is different. Mixing different subjects in an email is also a big no-no.
The last thing I want to rant about is that you need to tell who you are. Nothing is more annoying than having to guess who you are. Thus, set your mailer to use your FULL name. I know 20 Eric's so specify which one you are. Names like 'info' don't help me either. Also, set your From: address correctly so that I can reply by pressing 'reply' in my mailer and don't have to search for your email addres and type it in manually. If you are too lazy to write your email addres down, then I'm as lazy too.
This concludes my ranting about email, the best way is: 'Use common sense' and try not to piss me off. That won't help you getting a response.