Here are some rules I go by:
- Never send joke e-mails, chain e-mails, joke photos etc. to anyone's work e-mail account. If you feel the need to send them, send them to a home e-mail account instead.
- When you pass something on for the first time, why don't you ask your friend if they mind you sending it to them and to feel free to let you know if they would prefer not receiving these types of e-mails. Don't feel offended if they answer you in the negative though. Afterall, you did ask.
- If I am passing on an e-mail, I do not send it to my whole address book, but only a select few who might appreciate it, others may not! When I forward an e-mail, I send a personal message letting them know why I thought they might get a kick out of the message or photo I am passing on to them.
- I clean up the email I am forwarding and take out the string of email addresses. We don't need to read who forwarded it to whom and have to scroll down before we see why it was sent to us.
- I personally also delete the last paragraph that says "unless I forward this to all my friends something bad will happen" as I don't want my friends to feel they have to do that or for them to think that is why I am forwarding it to them.
- If I receive e-mails from friends with "dire warnings", when I reply to them I usually look up their particular warning to show them it is a hoax (hoaxbusters.com) and that usually encourages them to do the same before forwarding these types of things on again.
I received an e-mail today with the introduction "Excuse the interruption" and thought that was a good opening for an e-mail that may or may not apply to everyone in your organization, but must be sent to everyone for convenience sake and expediency. It made me feel the person was concerned about interrupting me and it made the e-mail seem less intrusive.