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Email Etiquette is Global

Emails come in asking what is different about email etiquette in different countries. Being more folks are corresponding with others all over the globe — I understand why this is a concern.

Yes, of course there are cultural differences, however, courtesy, respect and clarity in all communications, which includes the proper use of technology, are universal. Email etiquette means that when you are emailing strangers or those you do not yet know very well, regardless of their physical location, that you type with the highest level of formality and courtesy until the other side gives you an indication you can relax and communicate in a less formal tone.

You’ll never go wrong by offering the highest level of formality when addressing and communicating with those from other countries. Formalities are in place for a reason — to show respect with courtesy and consideration.

We all know how many onliners incorrectly believe that email is informal and an excuse to type as though they didn’t make it out of the sixth grade. If they don’t mind being perceived as someone who lacks in educations or courtesy (yes, courtesy is making the effort to type in full sentences, with appropriate capitalization and grammar and no typos) that is their choice to make.

When it comes to global contacts, just think how that lack of effort with someone who may not be from your culture may perceive your lack of ability to communicate with the written word? What if they are not yet very good at English and are relying on you to be clear so that they know how to communicate with you?

Once again, as you can see, email is not “all about me.” There are always at least two onliners involved and it behooves both sides to exercise their best effort, courtesy and clarity in their communications until they know each other better. Whether you are in the next city, state, country or across the globe.

No one is more insufferable than he who lacks basic courtesy.
? Bryant McGill

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