Email Etiquette - Please introduce yourself when you email for the first time

Fri, Apr 21, 2006

In a social culture, just as we introduce ourselves when starting a conversation; it would be highly appropriate to introduce oneself when one initiate an email conversation. It helps the recipient to decide how to reply, know who you are so that the recipient knows how to treat you better with an equally appropriate reply.

It had come to many instances where I have not replied back just because the mails are so awkward. Some typical regular ones in my Inbox includes that of -

* i want to build an application, how much will it cost you.
* i was loading the image with the script, but now it is not loading, why is it?
* please give me the serial number for that software.
* my phone number is 56756xxxx3 but i cannot connect to the internet, tell me how

It is perfectly fine to reply to these mails and later on ask who is it and get to know the person a bit more. However, it is a real turn off when someone emails about something, ask a question without introducing oneself or without any practical credential behind their questions. These are the mails that are guaranteed late replies or "Take it Easy, you can look at your free time" flag.

When one sends an email for the first time, it is always better to:

* describe the project/application, question or the subject (a brief description would do)
* what problem do you have and are you asking me to solve it or help you, have you tried other public forums first
* who you are, why did you contacted the recipient, how did you came to know of the recipient
* use an appropriate subject and do not keep changing it for every replies later on