One Word – THINK!!
Think carefully before clicking “Reply to all” – did you really mean to reply to everyone or just the sender? I have seen people reply back to list servers and send out things that were meant to be private.
Don’t forward email unnecessarily and never forward virus hoaxes, chain letters, petitions or “make money fast” schemes.
Responding to heated topics should be done cautiously if at all; waiting till the next day is often wise. Flaming (sending strongly emotional email) is rarely appropriate and is unlikely ever to encourage a positive response.
Make sure you use appropriate “quoting” in replies. Some emails I get don’t include the first volley of the email and I am left wondering what the person is talking about. I include the original thread is all my email replies.
Only quote the portions of an email that are relevant to your reply – delete any circulation address lists, signatures, etc. Take the time to edit and only quote the minimum necessary to provide context for your reply. Only send the entire thread of the conversation when required to do so. If the email includes images and such – remove them when replying if possible.
I am a little sensitive to editing down emails that I forward. Things may come around to you again and the original thread creator may wonder why you did not include their complete thought.
Avoid overly long threaded emails. If you have gone back and forth more than 4 times, you should be calling the person.
Never reply to SPAM or junk mail – Never ever. By replying you have verified that your email address is legitimate and you will only get more junk mail. Do not reply and ask to be removed. Just delete the email and move on.