What is Netiquette? 6 Golden Netiquette Rules

netiquette rules

In My humble Opinion (IMHO) Netiquette – the Internet version of etiquette is important to get right in email marketing. If you are anything like me you may have got an email wrong due to not considering this properly before hitting the send button – with disastrous results. I remember sending a jokey “dig”email at a friend I hadn’t seen for ages and he took it very much the wrong way. Here are 6 netiquette rules that you should think about before sending what you think is a great email.

Be respectful.

It sounds obvious doesn’t it but good email etiquettes are often ignored by marketers and can cause offence or annoyance to the recipient. It starts with the subject line and needs to continue in the actual body of the email. Remember you don’t know anything about the people you are sending initial marketing emails to but remember they ARE people. People you want to do business with. Just imagine you are introducing yourself to them in person.

Never assume.

This is a golden rule in general but very important for good netiquette. Don’t assume that your recipients have the same sense of humour as you – at least not at first. What’s funny or cheeky to some can be offensive to others. People have all sorts of sensibilities so keep it as neutral as possible at first and tread carefully.

Make it obvious.

If you are going for a slightly funny or ironic tone make sure the recipient gets that: Use symbols and common notations to stress that you are being ironic or funny – LOL or : ) after a witty comment for example. Emoticons are good and people like them – if they are available use them. Most people like a laugh but in text based communication things can get lost in communication. It’s good netiquette to emphasise that you are not being serious.

Be aware of different cultures and languages.

Again as with the last point, idioms and sayings that are familiar to you don’t always come across as you intended to people from different backgrounds. Although it can be good to use news items and trends in your marketing, good netiquette respects that different people have different viewpoints.

Don’t be over familiar.

Emails that start with “my good friend” or similar are a real put off. If you are sending a solo ad email to a list of strangers remember again that you don’t them and they don’t know you. The aim should be to build a relationship and good email etiquette respects that the first impression is crucial.

Spell check.

Most word processors have a spell check function. It only takes a minute and is good netiquette to make sure you have ticked the spelling box. You might get away with the odd mistake but not many – Your audience won’t like it and neither does Google.

Online Teachers Practice Good Netiquette

neti 2I completed an advanced -Teaching English as a Foreign Language online course a couple of years ago and netiquette was one of the modules. It stressed that when communication is purely text based – as with email there is a lot missing. The other two important parts of communication – audio and visual are lost. In video of course we can use all three but in email marketing we can’t. We can’t use facial expressions or our tone of voice to convey nuances in what we are saying.

How it Can Make A Big Difference

As with teaching online, when marketing communication is purely text based an awareness and practice of some golden netiquette rules is important and can make a big difference to your results. Not many people are going to respond to what comes across to them as offensive, over familiar or badly spelled.

Email marketing is just one method of digital marketing but whatever method you are using good netiquette is worth practicing. For an advanced course on digital marketing in all its forms click on the link below to receive the Six Figure Mentors free introductory videos.

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