Seth Godin put up an interesting email checklist.
4. Did every person on the list really and truly opt in? Not like sort of, but really ask for it?
5. So that means that if I didn’t send it to them, they’d complain about not getting it?
6. See #5. If they wouldn’t complain, take them off!
9. Is the email from a real person? If it is, will hitting reply get a note back to that person? (if not, change it please).
30. Am I quoting back the original text in a helpful way? (Sending an email that says, in its entirety, “yes,” is not helpful).
34. Bonus: Is there a long legal disclaimer at the bottom of my email? Why?
35. Bonus: Does the subject line make it easy to understand what’s to come and likely it will get filed properly?
Some of it is more about marketing email, but nearly all of it is applicable to almost everyone. I sort of disagree with #27 regarding religious emails. There are times when forwarding something about religion is entirely appropriate, but that’s when everything else on the checklist is in order. That is, does the recipient really want this email, or am I assuming he does because I like it?
The whole list is worth thinking about.