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Sending The Professional E-Mail Etiquette tips to help you craft e-mail messages that don't tarnish your good image

By Aliza P. Sherman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Can you remember a time when you didn't use e-mail to getthings done? How did we manage our businesses for so long withoutit? With the rapid adoption of e-mail as a major means of businesscommunication, somewhere along the way Internet etiquette or"netiquette" got lost.

Here are a few quick tips for making your professional e-mailcount:

  • Keep it short. Put your main point or question at thetop of the e-mail, then add no more than two brief, supportingparagraphs. If the recipient has to scroll through more than onceto read your e-mail, it's probably too long.
  • Include references. If you're responding tosomeone's e-mail, include an excerpt of their e-mail. Onlyinsert the parts of their e-mail that you're directlyresponding to so they can see what you're referencing in yourresponse. Don't include their entire e-mail in your reply ifpossible.
  • Compose relevant subjects. The subject heading of thee-mail you send can be the key to getting your e-mail read quicklyand understood immediately. Try to create a subject for your e-mailthat says it all in six words. As you begin to e-mail back andforth with someone else, alter your subject to reference thecontents of your e-mail if it begins to change from the originalsubject.

These simple e-mail tips work for both business and personalelectronic correspondence. Remember: Clarity is the key.

Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl:A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books).She is currently working on her next book and new company.

Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, e-entrepreneur and author of eight books, including

PowerTools for Women in Business.

Her work can be found at mediaegg.com.

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